What is Vermicomposting?
• Vermicomposting is the process by which worms are used to convert organic materials (usually wastes)into humus-like material known as vermicompost.

• The goal is to process the material as quickly and efficiently as possible.

• Glenn Munroe-Manual of On-Farm Vermicomposting and Vermiculture(Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada)

What is Vermicompost?
• Vermicompost appears to be generally superior to conventionally produced compost in a number of important ways

• Vermicompost is superior to most composts as an inoculant in the production of composts tea;

• Worms have a number of other apossible uses on farms, including value as a high-quality animal feed;

• Vermicomposting and vermiculture offer potential to organic farmers as sources of supplemental income.

Facts about Worms / African Night Crawler
• There are 4000 kinds of earthworm known to humanity but nowadays only 10-15 are used as vermicultures in different countries.

• Many species grow to a length of only a few centimeters, but some tropical species attain a length of up to 3.3 m (11 ft).

• They are hermaphrodite and some species live for ten years or longer.

• Produce most cocoons over a period of 20 weeks

• Peak biomass at 10-12 weeks and began to lose wt at 14 weeks

• Peak cocoon production after 10 weeks

• The optimum temperature for growth and survival is 25C but they died at temperatures below 9C and above 30C.

• The moisture content for optimal growth is 80-50% MC, with considerable decreases in growth at 70-90%MC.

• All species are very sensitive to ammonia and cannot survive long in organic wastes containing much ammonia (e.g., fresh poultry manure)

• They are tolerant to pH but given a choice, they prefer more acid material, with an apparent pH of 5.0

Five Basic Things That Worms Need:
• A hospitable living environment, usually called "bedding".

• Adequate moisture (greater than % water content by weight)

• A food source

• Adequate aeration

• Protection from temperature extremes

  | all rights reserved 2010 | digital foundry creative development studios