Presentation on theme: "Let Worms Eat Your Garbage, and Improve Your Soil!!"— Presentation transcript:
1 Let Worms Eat Your Garbage, and Improve Your Soil!! Rhianna SimesMaster Recycler Coordinator
2 During 2007 Oregonians sent an estimated 3 million tons of waste to landfills6 pounds of garbage everyday!This is 2,200 pounds of waste a yearFor every Oregonian!!Visualize a line of garbage trucks, end to end,from Portland to New Orleans.
3 Organic waste 8% +18% + 34% = 60% could be composted (1,320 pounds a year could be composted)
6 Composting is the aerobic decomposition of biodegradable organic matter. Composting is the process of encouraging the decomposition of organic matter by providing air, moisture, material, and a hospitable environment for decomposers and worms
7 Materials Nitrogen rich Carbon rich Green materials 1/3 of pile Grass clippingsFood scrapsImmature plantsRot easily & smells bad1/3 of pileCarbon richBrown materialsDry leavesStalks, & husksMature plantsFull of fiber & dries2/3 of pile
8 Layering Begin with larger diameter pieces 1 layer ‘green’, then thicker layer ‘brown’1 green + 2 browns (repeat)Repeat until at least 3’x3’x3’End with ‘brown’ layer to reduce pestsLast minute additions, sneak into middle
9 Common Composting issues *Problem*Cause*SolutionBad smellToo much nitrogenAnaerobicAdd carbonTurn pileNot cooking downToo dryTurn the pileCheck moistureAdd more NitrogenWeedyNot hot enough style compostDon’t include weed seeds or roots in pileRodents / pests in the pileFood scraps in pilePut kitchen waste in worm bin
10 The Chinese character for worm translates to ‘Earth Angel’ “Feliz como un lumbris”Earthworms are also called ‘nature’s plough’“It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world as these lowly organized creatures” (Charles Darwin 1881)Earth worms are amazingly strong, and can easily shift stones 60 times there own weight.
11 VermicompostingVermi-culture- is the artificial rearing or cultivation of earthwormsWorm bin- is any container that holds earthworms, their bedding and food (used in vermicomposting)Vermicompost- is the excreta of earthworm, which is rich in nutrients, necessary for healthy plant growth (aka castings)
12 4400 named species of earthworms on this planet Broken into three categories, largely descriptive of their habits in the soil,endogeic, anecic and epigeic.
13 Worm species and categories Endogeic-Lateral burrowsRarely surfaceEat soilMedium sizedEpigeic-Live in top soilPrefer loose organic litterFeed on surface debrisDo well in dense populationsEx: Eisenia fetidaAnecic- (night crawlers, Lumbricus terrestris)Permanent lateral burrows 6ft+ (personalized)Build midden mounds near burrow entranceHave little retractable hairs (setae)Very large with less pigmentation
14 Worm species for vermicomposting Two species of red earthworms are used for commercial composting or worm farming, due to their relatively high tolerance of environmental variations:a) Eisenia foetida The Red Wiggler >b) Lumbricus rebellus The Red Worm
15 Anatomy of the Earthworm Interesting Worm facts:-Both male & female organs-Have 5 hearts-Breathe through their skin-Baby worms are hatched from a worm egg called a cocoon-Use their pharynx to make their food small enough to eat
17 Adults will be banded Worm eggs are called cocoons Under perfect conditions a mature breeder will produce an egg capsule every 7 to 10 days, each containing over 1 dozen hatchlings.Development takes days and, once hatched, worms reach maturity in approximately four to six weeks.
18 a lot like building a compost pile Building a worm bin isa lot like building a compost pileYou need similar ingredients:A container with air holesKitchen Scraps or yard debris-Fruit peels, veggie scraps, old flowers, grains, or cereal‘Bedding’ or dry, organic material-Newspaper, coco fiber, straw, or leavesA bit of native soilA protected place to keep them
19 Worm bins Don’t have to be fancy or expensive Any container with air holes will workAvoid temperature extremes & predatorsExamples of common bin styles:
20 What do I feed my worms? Fresh or decaying organic material – anything found in natural world (with exceptions)The smaller the pieces the betterExamples: fruits, old food, leaves, veggies, grains, pasta, grass, & other plant matterAvoid:-Overloading your bin with citrus or fruits with a lot of seedsSeeds will often re-sprout
21 Worms do not want to eat Dairy Products like Cheese and milk Synthetic fibers or plasticSugary foods like cake and cookiesAnimal meatManure from carnivorous animals( like dogs, & cats)
22 What ‘bedding’ should I use? Shredded newspaperOld documents (no colored inks)Dry leavesCoco fiberStrawAvoid magazine or glossy pages, lots of colored inks, & synthetic fibers
23 Layering your worm bin Start with bedding Then add organic material / veggie scrapsAdd your worms and a little native soilThen more beddingRepeat layersNote: Always end withbedding to preventflies and bad smells
24 Other creatures in the worm bin Spring tails (look like little grey mites)Pot worms (tiny, transparent worms)Soldier Fly larva (segmented, tan)Avoid letting flies, gnats, earwigs, centipedes, or beetles in your worm bin
25 Precautions Protect against temperature extremes Maintain damp moisture levelSpray water in the bin when materials are too dry.Do not drown your worms,They like it moist, not soggy (think: damp sponge)Protect the worms from predatorsAnts, rats, raccoons, skunks, and birds
26 Harvesting worm castings Worms go towards food and away from the light
27 Utilizing your Worm Castings Use an old spoon or cup to scoop out castingsPut in your watering can = teaTop dress potted plantsAdd to vegetable gardenCreate tea bag and soak in waterAmend old potting soil
28 Advantages of Vermicomposting Vermicompost is an eco-friendly natural fertilizerPrepared from organic wasteFree to produce100% natural and organic It improves soil aeration, texture and soil tilth It increases the water retention capacity of soilKeeps food scraps out of the landfillDoes not take much spaceGreat way to get rid of sensitive documentsNutrients are available immediatelyIt is fun!
29 Gardeners Love wormsWorm castings Promote better root growth & nutrient absorption7 times the available phosphorous6 times the available nitrogen3 time the available magnesium2 times the available carbon1.5 times the available calcium“Without the work of this humble creature, who knows nothing of the benefits he confers upon mankind, agriculture, as we know it, would be very difficult, if not wholly impossible” Charles Darwin
31 Other Questions? Can I put kitty litter in my worm bin? Can magazine pages go in the worm bin?Should I put paper napkins in my bin?Can I dig up worms from my yard and put them in a worm bin?How can I easily trouble shoot my worm bin?More questions?