Waste management is one of the biggest global problems that face our modern world. Whether it’s regular garbage, trash going to the dump, or organic matter, our mark on this world is becoming more and more obvious. It is easy to throw everything into our garbage bins and have someone else take care of the problem, but that problem will only come back to haunt us. There has to be a better way to reduce our footprint when it comes to garbage, and, thankfully, there is.
Worm farming is a relatively new concept, but it is an amazing way to dispose of our organic waste while making a difference in the world. The process involves worms that eat unwanted organic waste and provide you with compost and castings. Waste is kept out of your garbage bin and is returned to the earth as energy for new growth. And not only are you reducing your household waste, but you are also saving money on compost and fertilizers.
The word “worm” may make you cringe if you only associated them with the slimy, slithering things that crawl through the soil, with a particular liking for organic waste. Worms love organic matter and lay tiny white eggs in partially decomposed food remains, their population doubling every few months. These worms procreate in and feed on organic waste and turn that waste into amazing compost. That makes worm farming, also known as vermiculture, perfect for reducing waste and creating a perfectly balanced fertilizer that is organic and requires no maintenance. And the best part about vermicomposting is that it doesn’t smell at all!
Who doesn’t want to strike gold? Worm castings are also known as “Black Gold.” The reason behind this is that worm castings are among the best fertilizers in the world. The organic black gold produced by worms in vermiculture often outperforms commercial and chemical fertilizers. Black gold is known to be a nutritional and valuable asset for your soil, crops, and garden plants. If you own a worm farm, you can harvest this amazing fertilizer for your own needs or sell it to others.
The best thing about black gold is that it does not smell, it is easy to produce, and is easily harvested. Due to the ease of harvesting and lack of odor, vermicomposting bins can be placed in any part of your house without disturbing your day-to-day life. Worm castings do not have an odor because food scraps processed by the worms are broken down multiple times into neutral or stable states. Black gold is known to enhance soil fertility, help add nutrients, and assist plants to grow healthier and faster than they normally would. If you have a plant or vegetable garden, black gold is the best fertilizer to use.
Civilizations wouldn’t have survived if not for the help of mother nature. The natural ways to promote soil health and fertility far outweigh the benefits of using chemical fertilizers. Humans have been using worms for thousands of years to grow better crops and sustain the food supply. There are more than 7,000 species of earthworms that are useful in regulating soil health.
However, with the evolving nature of today’s farming practices, the utilization of composting worms has increased significantly. Out of the 7,000+ worms available for maintaining soil health, only 7-8 species are suited for composting. The composting worms need to have different characteristics than the regular earthworms found in the soil since the conditions are vastly different from organic waste.
Understanding the role bedding plays in your worms’ life will help you understand why it is an important part of your worm farm. The bedding is not only the area in which the worms will live, but it is also part of their diet. Worms will feed on the food scraps that you provide and the bedding material as it decomposes in the bin.
While it is extremely important to have enough drainage to shed excess water and enough ventilation for sufficient airflow, it is even more important to have layered bedding. This allows air and moisture to spread evenly across the bedding. You also don’t want your bedding to be so loose that it dries out quickly, and you have to re-water it, or it lets so much of the outside climate in that your worm bin gets too cold or too hot too easily. Having too much water can be deadly for the worms. If your bin starts to smell bad, that is a red flag. Ideally, your worm bin shouldn’t have any odor at all. It might have a bit of a smell since organic matter is decomposing in it, but nothing too strong.
Once a scrap of harmful food or organic waste starts to cause health issues in a worm farm, it can be almost impossible to restrict or stop it. Even if you regularly check the pH levels of the soil, once something is introduced to it, it might not be possible to remove it.