Worm Composting

Red Worms

Red Worms in Compost

Worm composting is a process where earthworms are used to process waste materials into a valuable organic fertilizer.

It can be done on a large commercial scale – there are farms that produce thousands of tons a month of worm castings – or in a small worm composting bin in your garage or garden.

Although the methods used on a large farm differ from those used on a small farm the environmental benefits are the same.

Worm composting results in two main products: earthworms and worm castings (vermicastings).

Increasing the population of earthworms will increase the quantity of worm castings that a farm can produce. The worm castings have tremendous benefits for your soil. They contain beneficial microbes, minerals, amino acids, bacteria and other nutrients which enhance and improve the soil.

Worm composting is not new but during the 20th century inorganic farming methods dominated agriculture and gardening. It was during this period that the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers revolutionized food production; they are pretty much the reason the world can support such a large population.

Organic farming and gardening is a more natural way of growing plants and this is where worm composting fits in, there is no more natural source of nutrients for your garden.

If you give it some thought, it’s pretty obvious that earthworms and plants have evolved together over millions of years. They have a symbiotic relationship; the one enhances the other.

Home worm composting also has the added advantage of producing worm castings from scrap materials. A lot of the stuff that usually gets thrown away in the kitchen is brilliant food for worms: vegetable peelings, carrot tops, bits and pieces from salads and virtually any other vegetable matter can be fed to your worms.

This reduces waste, your carbon footprint and recycles rubbish into a valuable product.

On a small scale (and that is what most of this web site is devoted to) a small farm comprising of plastic containers and measuring less than a meter by half a meter is quite capable of recycling a normal household’s food waste into worm castings and your garden benefits as well.

Source: WormFarm.co.za “Global Worming Fighting Global Warming”

Organic waste can be reduced by earthworm farming, preventing this waste from entering landfills and putting it  to an excellent, eco-friendly use.  Sustainable gardening and farming go hand-in-hand with vermiculture.  Worms, like so many other organisms (including ourselves) are sensitive to water quality; do not use chlorinated municipal water to dampen your worm farm!  Much better would be to use rainwater that you’ve collected and stored in rainwater tanks or rain barrels.  Holistic living should combine eco-friendly actions wherever possible.  Rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling will help to ease water shortages in water scarce South Africa.  Water conservation should be a priority as the water crisis looms.  Energy consumption and energy-saving is another important issue.  Solar energy is an obvious renewable energy resource that South Africa has an abundance of.  Solar water heaters that replace electric geysers can reduce monthly electricity bills by up to 50%.  Although initial cost of solar water geysers is relatively high, these solar geysers typically amortize their cost within 36 months (if current Eskom rates are used).  Water Rhapsody and Yes Solar Mpumalanga have combined to offer water conservation systems and solar energy solutions under one roof.  Our water systems include rainwater harvesting systems, grey water irrigation systems, greywater toilet flush systems and other water-saving devices.  Solar energy products include a wide range of German-made Solsquare solar water heaters.  We are also JoJo Tanks dealers (we can supply their full range of JoJo water tanks and JoJo water tank stands) as well as Atlas Plastics water tank suppliers in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo Lowveld.  Contact us for a free quote and let us help you get FREE WATER and FREE WATER HEATING!

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