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Vermicomposting is increasingly being adopted by businesses, institutions, farms, and municipalities for managing organic waste. Businesses that generate food waste include restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, food processors, nursing homes, wholesale food outlets and farmers markets, shopping malls, resorts, and offices with dining facilities. Institutions generating food waste include hospitals, schools, universities, prisons, military bases, long-term care facilities, and government centers. One factor of feedstock throughput in vermiculture is based upon the number of earthworms you have. Answering the Knock of a Business 'Opp' (June 2002) Federal Trade Commission, Facts For Consumers. Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses focuses on helping alternative and sustainable agriculture entrepreneurs. Commercial Vermicomposting Technologies: A Summary of Commercial Adoption of Vermicomposting Technologies (2009) by Professor Clive Edwards, Soil Ecology Laboratory, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.
Cornell University's Vermicompost Research - This site contains a lot of research papers on the effects of vermicompost on a variety of plants and the 9-minute video Vermicompost: A Living Soil Amendment. Latest Developments in Mid-to-Large Scale Vermicomposting (BioCycle Journal of Composting & Organics Composting, November 2000, Vol. Potential Markets for Vermiculture and Vermicomposting Operations (Vermicomposting News - No. Small Business Development Centers in North Carolina - They give advice--for free--on how to start a business, finance a business, manage a business, research markets, write a business plan, do an industry analysis, utilize the internet, etc. United States Small Business Administration - They give advice--for free--on how to start a business, finance a business, manage a business, research markets, write a business plan, etc. Composting—the process of managing organic residuals, and the product—compost have been understood by mankind for at least two millennia, and likely longer, with recorded instances of their benefit to soil fertility extending back to the Roman statesman Cato. Vermicomposting (Latin vermes = worm) is a kindred process to composting, featuring the addition of certain species of earthworms used to enhance the process of waste conversion and produce a better end-product.
While vermiculture (earthworm breeding) operations have been in existence throughout the United States during the 20th century, principally for the production of fishbait, interest in vermicomposting may be tied most significantly to the work of Dr. Further, research in vermicomposting’s use in treating wastewater residuals (biosolids) has been another fruitful field of inquiry.
Vermicomposting relies upon the regular addition of small amounts (1-inch depth) of organic feedstock at the surface of a worm bed. Most vermicomposting facilities in the US tend to utilize manures from herbivorous animals, especially dairy manure (separated solids).
Vermiculture has been embraced throughout the world, especially in regions where temperate weather conditions allow for implementation of outdoor systems. A two-part program, consisting of both composting and vermicomposting, may be useful when introducing the concept of adding organic material for agricultural and horticultural production.
Thnak you for this general introduction on vermicomposting and its implementations in the world. After fertilization, the clitellum secrets a kind of tube that forms the cocoon in which several eggs will be fertilized, and eventually turn into live baby worms. All rights reserved.A  No part of this may be used or reproduced in any manner without permission from North Carolina Cooperative Extension or the author. Earthworm castings are actually the material which has passed through the digestive system of an earthworm and is brought out in the ground.
The castings are easily utilised because along with soil they create the perfect growing environment. Worms are a highly beneficial ingredient to the soil due to the fact that they play the role of both waste disposers and fertilizers with their rich vermicomposting which is a term that means worm compost.
Eisenia fetida consume about 25 - 35% of their body weight per day, depending on several factors including temperature, moisture, humidity, and the pH, salinity and ammonia levels in the feedstock. Explains that some business opportunity promotions are scams that take consumers' money and fail to deliver on the promises. Published by the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, the guide's sample worksheets illustrate how real farm families set goals, determined potential markets and evaluated financing options, and helps the reader develop a detailed business plan.
The Federal Trade Commission's Franchise and Business Opportunity Rule requires franchise and business opportunity sellers to give you specific information to help you make an informed decision. Describes the conditions necessary to raise earthworms depending on the business market the grower chooses to pursue.
Compost is a beneficial substance aiding soil and is produced by the activity of microorganisms upon organic matter.
Edwards has helped to spread, Ohio State University researchers have principally concentrated upon assessing the effects of vermicompost (vs. Pilot projects using earthworms in biosolids have shown nearly complete and satisfactory eradication of four indicator species of human pathogens (E. Greater amounts of material applied to the surface may cause the bed to heat up, a likelihood that occurs as thermophilic (heat-loving) organisms proliferate. Ideally, vermicomposting ventures could minimize transportation and handling costs by being situated near waste generators such as dairies, racetracks, sources of pre-consumer food waste (packing plants), wastewater treatment plants, etc. In India vermiculture has been employed for waste management and for the production of marketable castings.
Some aspects of the process may be labor intensive when mechanized equipment such as front-end loaders, trommel screens, tractors, etc., are not available to handle large volumes of material. Earthworms in grass leave casting hills, or mounds, that are visually unappealing and may pose a trip hazard. You can also transplant a couple of shovels full of soil laden with worms to areas with few of the organisms. Red wigglers are the organisms of choice for worm composting, also known as vermicomposting, which is done in a bin. North Carolina State University.A  Published by NC Cooperative Extension, North Carolina State University. Nevertheless, you should take it into account that there is a slight difference between earthworm castings and this compost.


EPA estimated in 2006 that 35-45% of the waste generated in the United States was by schools, businesses and institutions. Since organic matter (food waste, paper waste, agriculture and landscape waste, animal manures, and wastewater residuals) in many societies is abundant and often problematical, composting discarded organic waste matter is a process useful to waste managers who are concerned with, 1. Chiefly, vermicomposting is a mesophilic process, utilizing microorganisms and earthworms that are active in a temperature range of 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Presently, confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) such as poultry farms and hog farms generate enormous amounts of waste and are the cause of groundwater contamination and other problems throughout several regions of the US. In China, where earthworms have been a traditional medicine for at least 2,300 years, vermiculture has been practiced in order to utilize earthworms as pharmaceutical agents. As a process for handling organic residuals, it represents an alternative approach in waste management, inasmuch as the material is neither landfilled nor burned but is considered a resource that may be recycled. In areas where creation of low or semi-skilled jobs is considered advantageous, vermicomposting may supply an opportunity for employment.
Where soil is severely lacking organic matter, the addition of compost alone would pay huge dividends.
Looser soils also allow plant roots to penetrate deeper and access more resources, which in turn builds bigger, healthier plants. The castings are excellent sources of nutrients for plants, but may pose a nuisance in yards.
This is the best of all types of manure for the garden due to the fact that worms naturally live in the soil and produce the things it needs.A  Created about five hundred and seventy million years ago, worms are the natural soil fertilizers and this is why they are the best way to create a healthy environment for the plants. As far as already established plants are concerned, putting about A? inches of the castings will be enough. An interesting fact is that the castings come only from the worma€™s body while the compost consists of both earthworm castings and other droppings of different creatures that create it. Edwards brought his expertise in earthworm research gained from a project at the Rothamsted Experimental Station in the UK concerning production methods of earthworms and castings, as well as research on various types of wastes that earthworms might process. Conclusive evidence points to an optimal use of 10-20% earthworm castings in a blend of container media that produces measurable improvement in root and shoot development, increase in leaf size, formation of flowers, increase in crop yield, and overall health of plants (in warding off disease). While not yet approved by USEPA or USDA as a viable means to render biosolids as safe for handling (to achieve the standard of Class A biosolids, having met PFRP standards), preliminary studies have shown vermicomposting may be considered a Process to Further Reduce Pathogens (PFRP), although the adoption of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and regulatory approval awaits further demonstration and testing. One net effect of this key process requirement is that vermicomposting on a large scale tends to require a greater horizontal surface area than thermophilic composting operations. Vermicomposting as a waste management option has not been widely explored, however, due to a complex series of factors that are beyond the scope of this summary. Edwards at OSU, left academia to start his Living Soil company, nationally distributing and retailing small packages of earthworm castings, bottles of castings tea, and castings tea bags.
Clinical application includes treatment for nervous, blood, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. In this sense, vermicomposting is compatible with sound environmental principles that value conservation of resources and sustainable practices.
Where accumulation of food waste, paper, cardboard, agriculture waste, manures, and biosolids is problematical, composting and vermicomposting offer potential to turn waste material into a valuable soil amendment. Once composting has been implemented in a new situation, vermicomposting may be introduced later on as a secondary process, offering a better product but requiring better management as well. Worms in gardens also perform cultivation functions that increase soil porosity and allow oxygen in to roots.
One of the biggest benefits of garden worms is their ability to turn garbage into fertilizer. Consider that if there are 5,000 worms in an acre of soil, they can produce 50 tons of beneficial castings. Placid red wigglers will turn your kitchen scraps into compost quickly and also provide compost tea for plants that need extra babying. The male organs are two pairs of testes, three pairs of seminal vesicles and sperm funnels.
Worms are especially designed for the soil to eat the dying plants and turn them into useful material. Make sure that they are absolutely pure and highly qualified.Another great idea can be to put worms in your garden.
Furthermore, in the compost there are also parts of organic matter which is in different phases of disintegration.Last but not least, earthworm castings might be from a worma€™s body only but their composition also depends on certain factors. In short, earthworms, through a type of biological alchemy, are capable of transforming garbage into gold. He and his colleagues developed the Continuous Flow Reactor, a mechanized process employing an elevated bed allowing addition of feedstock at the top level to a 1-2 meter-thick bed of earthworms that process material into castings which are then harvested from below the bed, allowing the earthworms to work undisturbed.
Details of these findings, however, are buried in scholarly scientific research journals, seldom finding their way to the general public. There have also been other, more regionally confined efforts to market castings through nurseries and garden supply centers.
Earthworm treatments have been used on, but not limited to, asthma, epilepsy, high blood pressure, schizophrenia, mumps, eczema, burns, ulcers, and cancer. Vermicomposting is akin to composting in that similar feedstocks—organic residuals—are used. Mostly, compost aids in providing humus and increasing the diversity of the soil food web consisting of millions of microorganisms, critical for healthy plant growth.
Encourage earthworms in soil or even try worm composting to experience the life-giving effects of worm castings. Despite the fact that worms have both male and female organs; it must mate with another worm in order to reproduce its own kind. This is in fact the richest food for the plants because its nutrients and minerals are increased ten times. Not only do they make tunnels through the soil and help water and air circulation, but they also fertilise the soil.
Thus, composting is attractive to waste managers as a process technology, while the resulting product, compost, is attractive for its horticultural and agricultural benefits.


Because of this, no less a person than Charles Darwin, a lifelong student of earthworms, wrote at the close of his treatise on earthworm castings, “It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.” (The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through The Action of Worms With Observations on their Habits, 1881). This in-vessel technology is considered more efficient than the customary windrow technology in which rows of organic matter (6 feet wide, 3 feet high, dozens to hundreds of feet in length) are seeded with earthworms and are found in an outdoor environment (subject to weather, predation, and moisture variation). More recent efforts in castings research, both at OSU and in California, have been aimed at discovering a wide array of insect-repellency properties of castings, suggesting their use as an organic, non-toxic bio-pest repellent.
These operations build piles of organic matter ranging in height from 8 feet and up, better utilizing surface area than vermicomposting.) The largest vermicomposting facilities in the US tend to be found in the more temperate regions, where outdoor windrows may take up to several acres of land. As yet, the vast majority of American gardeners and consumers are not aware of earthworm castings or their benefits. In Cuba, vermicomposting animal manures began in earnest after the break-up of the USSR and the resultant loss of chemical fertilizers from the Soviet Union. Both systems utilize microbial activity to break down organic matter in a moist, aerobic environment Vermicomposting differs from thermophilic composting in several ways: Vermicomposting is faster, produces fewer odors and produces a superior product.
Vermicompost, a more valuable commodity, is best used sparingly such as in container media, greenhouse application, establishing new plants such as rootstock in vineyards, and wherever it can be directed in close proximity to plants.
However, the fact that they are constantly moving makes it difficult for the castings to concentrate in one place. For instance, if a worm is fed only with lettuces or a particular ingredient solely, it will only produce the nutrients or minerals which are found in this particular ingredient. An example of what may be the largest vermicomposting operation in North America is Pacific Landscape Supply (formerly American Resource Recovery) in Vernalis, CA, just south of the larger city of Stockton.
Most individuals in the soil amendment and fertilizer industry would have little knowledge of these products. In Australia, researchers Buckerfield and Webster reported at an international symposium that on established vineyards, worm-worked wastes derived from winery-waste was spread on the surface and covered with mulch.
However vermicomposting requires greater surface area, more moisture, and is susceptible to heat, high salt levels, high ammonia levels, anaerobic conditions, and substances that may be toxic to earthworms (such as avermectins used to treat intestinal worms in cattle.) Of the 4,400 identified earthworm species, specific species of litter-dwelling earthworms are required for this process (classified as epigeic earthworms, they tend to be more pigmented than the other species that create burrows and live in soil). Increasingly, aerobically-produced compost teas and castings teas are proving to have value when used as foliar sprays and soil drenches.
If the concentration of earthworm castings is larger, this will increase the vigour of the plants and their growth rate, they will be healthier and the soil will be better aerated and will retain water well.
This is why worms should be fed various but well-balanced foods in order to produce the needed nutrients and other fertilising ingredients. Over 300 wet tons of cardboard sludge (unusable, short fiber waste from a cardboard recycling facility) are delivered daily to this 360-acre operation where 70 acres of vermicomposting beds have been arranged.
Castings are vastly different from petro-chemical fertilizers which have detrimental effects on microbial life in the soil. When harvested five months later, grape yields from the vermicompost treatment had increased by 35%.
Limiting factors for vermicomposting include insufficient water supply, extremely cold weather conditions, poor quality of feedstocks, high salinity in feedstocks, poor management of worm beds, limited surface area, and lack of suitable species and ready supply of earthworms to begin and continue the task. Nowadays with the advance of technology, best-quality, pure and well-balanced castings are made and sold in retail outlets all over the world.Enjoyed the article?
Earthworms process this paper waste product, transforming the material into castings that are sold in bulk to nurseries, farms, and retail bagging distributors. The appeal of castings would be tend to be welcomed initially by those who support organic farming inputs and sustainable agriculture practices.
Yield increases in excess of 25% were achieved with cherry trees in the first year with clear evidence of larger fruit.
Although composting earthworms may multiply rapidly when the key process variables are present and at optimum levels, it takes time for a small number of earthworms to multiply.
These higher yields have been maintained for the two following annual harvests, without further additions of vermicompost.
In Mexico more than 40 companies or individual farmers operate vermicomposting plants in 13 states. Sufficient scientific study has neither confirmed nor denied the oft-claimed exponential rates of which earthworms are said to proliferate. However, abundant anecdotal evidence confirms that earthworms are capable of multiplying rapidly, where conditions are optimal. Morales report that “Onan Diaz was among several peasants who learned about earthworm composting from a social support program. After obtaining worms and producing compost, he applied the finished product on his small coffee plantation. Improvement was evident as increased blooms per plant and better coffee flavor differentiated his plantation from his neighbors.
The ejidataros (land owners in the region) began to worm composting too.” The authors believe “worm compost could be part of the solution for ‘damaged’ agriculture in poor regions of Mexico. Its use could slowly regenerate contaminated and impoverished soils and at the same time provide some income to rural communities. Worm farming in developing countries should be seen as a social support and an ecological defense tool,” they suggested. 2002, 64-69.) In early September, 2001 Peter Bogdanov of VermiCo was invited to provide technical assistance in vermiculture to Uzbekistan through a program sponsored by the International Development Division of Land O’ Lakes working with USAID. At the time, the Karshi Farmer’s Extension Service showed interest in receiving experts who would introduce local farmers to the benefits of vermicomposting. Details on this offer (“Opportunity for Vermiculture Consulting in Uzbekistan”) are found in the VermiCo subscription newsletter Casting Call, Vol.



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