Vermiculture Steven M. Brown University of Massachusetts
Vermiculture is…. • Composting with red worms (Eisenia foetida) for… • Fishing worms • To get rid of kitchen wastes • To create the “perfect” soil for houseplants • Saves money and the environment
To get started you need… • Bedding for the worms • Shredded paper • Torn up newspaper • Old bark mulch • Peat moss or hay • Dried leaves • Sticky parts on envelopes
And you need… • Water • Crushed egg shells (for calcium) • Sand or dirt (for grit) • Lime (so the soil stays “sweet”)
You need a container… • Wooden box • Cardboard box • Clay pots • Clean trash barrels
Tender loving care…. • Avoid freezing temperatures • Keep moist • Feed us
Also feed us… • Fruit peeling, cores • Vegetable trimmings • Rotten potatoes • Coffee grounds and tea bags • Corn cobs (yahoo) • House plant trimmings
Be cautious about… • Fats or cheeses • Too much citrus rinds • Horse bedding (may be toxic) • Meat and bones
Harvesting • To keep the bin going… • Remove half of the bedding and replace it with fresh materials…. • The worms will follow!
Harvesting for Houseplants • Separate worms from the decomposed bedding • Place in a large plastic or clay pot with drainage holes • Put the large pot on top of the bin • After a while, the worms and hatched eggs will migrate back into the bin
Harvesting for Worms • When all the fresh food is gone… • Empty out the contents into a conical pile • Shine a light on the pile • The worms will migrate down • Collect the worms
The grande finale • A big hairy closing goes here!