When I first heard the term worm composting I wondered how do you compost worms.
I thought that the worms were the ones that aerated the soil by digging tunnels and eating things. Just as we use different manures to use as compost overtime, there has to be a process for turning it into compost.
Worm composting is one of the best ways to take different materials and by the process of digesting mixtures of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, they produce wormcasting, also known as Vermicast or worm humus or worm manure. Other names for the worm castings is worm humus or worm manure. Vermicast is nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner.
Why is this such a sought after type of composting, and what are the differences of the compost that is produced?
At the simplest level, the process of composting simply requires making a heap of wetted organic matter (leaves, food waste, no animal products though) and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of weeks or months.
Worm Composting: The Basic Process
Modern, methods of composting is a multi-step, closely monitored process that includes measured inputs of water, air and carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials. To increase the rate of the decomposition process, it is aided by shredding the plant matter, then adding water and on a regular basis turning the mixture.
Worms and fungi can then further break up the material. Aerobic bacteria manage the chemical process. They convert the inputs into heat, carbon dioxide and ammonium. Ammonium is further converted by bacteria into plant-nourishing nitrites and nitrates through the process of oxidizing the ammonium compounds of dead organic material into nitrites and nitrates by soil nitrobacteria, making nitrogen available to plants.
So to make a long story short,
the nitrates and nitrites are chemically compounded to form nitrogen and sent into the atmosphere through composting with bacteria. Then the rain pushes them back into the soil where the plants use them as nutrients to grow and become what they are created to be. Now they die and decompose and during composting, release the nitrogen back into the atmosphere.
That is how cow, horse, elephant and all other animals add to the environment by changing the fruit and fiber of the plants that they consume back into more material for composted material to start the process all over again.
This is why you will hear me tell you why I really like local organic farms and gardens. It stays local, it grows locally better for usage in place, and it is healthier for your family as well since when grown properly the food will help your immune system to deal with “Local” bacteria. Healthy food and lifestyle (Clean water/organic food and exercise(oops I did say that word)).
I like to get my exercise by working in the garden pulling the little weeds that may pop up, then eating what looks appetizing (need some extra energy you know) and bringing what I do not eat into the house for either our food or for friends and garden/farm partners.
What we do not eat and gets past the point of being usable for our bodies, goes right back to the composting worms. They eat, we eat, of course, the deer and other animals have to get their share also. We are pretty selfish with the berries though lately.
For the first three years we have been here, the squirrels and birds took all of the strawberries. This year, they are going to be under lock and key! Actually, just a better way of setting up the bird netting. We have also built a new three bin composting station so that the worms and bacteria will have their own place to hang out. We will then use that material after they have had their fill and place it back onto the garden. So all in all, worm composting is the best organic process of changing different materials back into the soil you want to grow in.
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