Welcome to the Garden Wormery Guide. In this blog we are going to look at how to set up your own wormery and the benefits of doing so. I’ve also put together a free ebook which you can download directly.
You may be surpised at what you read here. For example did you know that having your own wormery can save you money, help to protect the environment and give the kids some fun and education as well.
There are many other benefits and features also – please browse around the blog to learn more. And please do read the rest of this introduction.
When most people think of worms, their first reaction is one of disgust. They’re creepy. They’re crawly. They belong on the end of a fishing pole.
However, worms are an integral part of our ecosystem, and one whose value has never been more important. In the face of global warming, more and more individuals are taking responsibility for their own recycling and food production efforts. From neighborhood gardens to backyard compost piles, people everywhere are finding that getting out of doors and into the dirt is the first great way to start giving back to the planet. And there’s simply no way to get into the dirt without paying homage to the worm.
Despite their bad reputation, worms are one of the healthiest parts of any thriving garden. They burrow through the dirt, which not only provides a way for oxygen to reach the soil, but it also means they leave a trail behind them. By burrowing, worms are really eating the food and plant matter in the dirt, processing it in their bodies and excreting it out the other side. Although this sounds rather disgusting, the reality is that what the worms leave behind is a nutrient-rich material, called vermicompost, we need to grow plants.
Wormeries are our way of tapping into the power of the worm and harvesting that vermicompost for our own use.
What is a wormery?
A wormery is basically a “worm farm.” Also known as a worm composting system, it is essentially a box or other self-contained system in which worms live and reproduce. Although this makes it sound like a wormery is built to breed worms, it’s actually used to break down food and plant matter into vermicompost. Like a compost pile or other composting system, it’s a way to recycle your kitchen scraps to make a rich, completely natural fertilizer – right in your own backyard.
Wormeries take on a variety of formats, ranging from quick-and-easy science projects to more well-kept factories for commercial production. In fact, there are some farms that specialize in wormeries, producing vermicompost for sale and use in agriculture. In most cases, however, wormeries are found in individual backyards or by use in restaurants or other commercial kitchens. Wormeries can be purchased from stores or made from materials you have around the house (or ones you can purchase for less than you’ll spend on a bag of fertilizer).
Wormeries are built inside a box or other contained structure. They are composed of several layers in which the worms live and work. The bottom is made of a thin layer of soil or other dirt-like material, on top of which is placed a layer of “bedding” usually made of paper scraps. Kitchen and plant waste is placed on top of this bedding, followed by a lid that keeps light (and other critters) out – and keeps the moisture in.
Most of the time, the worms live just below the bedding. They feed on the kitchen waste, transforming the food into vermicompost, which you then harvest for use in your garden. Depending on the size of the system, you can house thousands of worms at a time, transforming almost all the waste from your house into one of the most beneficial, organic fertilizers known to mankind.
All About Wormeries: Understanding Vermiculture
Vermiculture is the process by which worms break down food and plant waste and turn it into a rich compost used to fertilize gardens and grow plants.
The use of worms for farming and human benefit has been around for thousands of years. Worms have always been believed to be an important part of the earth’s life cycles, taking a place in ancient Chinese medicine and even appearing in Aristotle’s writings about the soil. However, as late as the late 1800s, people assumed worms were bad for farming. Because they burrowed in the earth, it was believed that they were eating the roots of the plant and destroying crops.
Fortunately, scientist Charles Darwin found that earthworms, instead of damaging crops, were actually helping them to grow faster and stronger. In 1881, he published his findings in “The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms with Observations on their Habits,” and the science of vermiculture was born.
OK – that’s enough of an introduction. To lean more and what a wormery can do for you please read posts on the blog and prepare to me amazed. You’ll never think of the humble worm in the same way again!
And please download your copy of my free ebook on starting a wormery. It’s yours with my compliments.