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Vermiculture

Vermiculture

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Published by: MosySpeed on Oct 07, 2011
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07/17/2013

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THE GAIA MOVEMENTBOOKLETNO 1HOW TO:GROW BETTER CROPSUSING WORMS TOCOMPOST KITCHEN WASTE
www.gaia-movement.orgwww.gaia-movement.org
A very good effect of using vermicompost - be-sides the ones already mentioned - is that it attractsthe burrowing earthworms which already exist inthe soil. These are the ones adapted to the localconditions and they now get much better condi-tions for a continuing improvement of the soil.So you will continue to get better cropsover theyears.
Urban agriculture in Cuba
 
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Grow better crops using worms to compostkitchen wasteIdea
The idea is to make a simple system where kitchenwaste and other kinds of organic materials arechanged into good compost by earthworms -vermiculture. This compost can greatly improve thequalities of the soil and will give better crops. At thesame time it reduces pollution of air and water.
Introduction
Kitchen wastes make up a big part of the solid wastesthrown out all over the World. Besides being expen-sive to remove the big amounts, the wastes createsmany problems:
!
using much space in landfills
!
creating methane when decomposing. Methane isone of the greenhouse gasses contributing towarming of the Earth
!
diseases spreading because of unhealthy conditionsOne simple way to reduce these problems is to startusing worms to transform the kitchen waste into goodcompost. This can be done locally where people livewith no need of transporting to landfills or dumps.In Cuba they started this system at the end of the
* 7 *
TemperatureIf it gets too warm the worms and the microor-ganisms can not function. This is when the tem-perature comes much over 30 degrees C. If it getstoo cold the decomposing is very slow. You canregulate the temperature by adding more material- this will make it warmer, or reducing the height -this will make it cooler.
When is it finished:
After about 1 month the compost is ready. It will beblack in colour, not very heavy and smell of humus(soil).To separate the worms from the compost, stop wa-tering two to three days. As it gets dry most of theworms will go to the bottom of the box and it ispossible to take the good compost. Any worms inthis compost can be removed by hand to be usedagain in the box.
How is it used:
The finished vermicompost can be used around anygrowing plants - flowers, vegetable garden or field.The more is used the better the plants will grow.It is good to mix it with the soil to avoid that it driesand blows away.
 
* 3 *
1980’s. By 1992 they were producing 93,000 T of compost pr year which is used as fertiliser.
What do the worms do?
They eat the waste. In the worms there is an environ-ment where conditions are superb for microorgan-isms to eat the waste. You can say the worms act asfactories where the waste is changed. Normalcomposting takes many months. With worms it willonly take about one month.The parts leftover after passing through the wormsare very good as compost and will give you bettercrops because they:
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are full of microorganisms which are good for theplants
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these microorganisms make nutrients availablefrom the soil
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prevent harmful microorganisms from spreadingso the plants get less diseases
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contain much humus - organic material which im-proves the soil so it can hold more water and nu-trients. In India where vermicompost is spreadingquickly some projects report using 50% less waterfor irrigation and doubling the harvest.
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binds the soil together so less damage - erosion -is done by heavy rains or winds
* 6 *
Place the worm box in a ventilated area in the shade.Start feeding the worms slowly at first using only veg-etable waste and crushed eggshells. Do not add meatwaste to avoid attracting rats.The waste is spread out on top of the box and shouldbe covered with leaves or grass.When it is well functioning you start coming waste inonly one half of it. After 1-2 months you change tothe other half.
How to look after the vermicompost:
RatsIf there are rats in the area it is good to make surethat they do not get into the worm box. The boxesshould then be covered and the sides solid.MoistureIt is important that the material is kept moist butnot too wet. If it is too dry the worms will digdeeper down and the waste will not be eaten. If itis too wet other microorganisms will take over andthe heap start to smell of rot.It is good to make the beds in the shade to avoiddirect sunlight.Normally the vermiculture will need to be wateredevery day - but not too much.

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