You must have heard of vermicomposting a lot these days if you are a hobbyist or a home gardener. But do you know what a worm farm is? If you guessed it’s something meant to improve plant growth, you’re on the right track.
But then, why would you farm worms when there’s a handful of competent options in the form of fertilizers and composts?
In this post, I am going to share everything you need to learn about this cost-effective, and natural technique.
What is a Worm Farm?
In simple words, a worm farm helps to turn the organic wastes of your garden or animals into stabilized organic matter. But as you know, things that look simple can be complicated, at times.
So, let me elaborate it in detail.
You need three essential elements; organic waste material, the bedding, and of course, worms.
The organic waste works as food for worms that, in turn, will convert it into stabilized organic matter.
So, there’s nothing much you have to do really. Keep feeding the worms with sufficient food, and protect them from insects and bugs. It is that easy if conditions remain under control.
Isn’t it relieving to see that it’s something any home gardener can do? To be honest, worm-farming is both fun and rewarding. Also, it’s also quite safe when you have pets and kids in the house. In fact, it can be a great time-killing activity for your kids.
Moreover, there isn’t too much cost involved. Vermicomposting is almost like a one-time investment and doesn’t require too much maintenance as well. That being said, they are worthwhile at processing organic matter quickly.
I’m done with the basics here, and I know that the question, what’s the point of a worm farm, is still there in your mind. So, let’s move on to the real benefits.
Benefits of a Worm Farm
A few claimed benefits that attribute to worm farming are here:
The need for safe and sustainable techniques to deal with organic wastes encompasses the best-known procedure of vermicomposting. It helps stabilize organic wastes by turning them into more active material, which can be utilized as a source of many nutrients and soil enhancers for various agricultural purposes.
Unbroken and organic waste is continuously increasing as the world is becoming industrialized. Along with this, recycling has also been achieving popularity in recent years. Vermicomposting is a rather effective way to recycle organic wastes quickly.
Worms eat up most, if not all, food waste at an unbelievable rate. Red Wrigglers, aka the earthworms commonly used in worm farming, consume roughly half of their body weight in decomposing the waste matter every day. Yet, their waste doesn’t smell under normal conditions.
Worm castings are an organic form of fertilizer, which is basically earthworm waste, generally known as worm poop. These earthworms eat poor compost and produce their waste, which creates an optimal soil enricher.
The organic waste of worms are small and ball-shaped particles that improve soil quality. Also, these particles increase the water percentage in the soil and make it perfect. Let’s discuss how that happens.
Naturally, there is an enzyme in a worm’s digestive system, which helps the nutrients in the castings to release gradually. These nutrients are better than most man-made fertilizers as they are safe for most plant species. Additionally, the castings smell better than manure-based fertilizers available in the market.
The process of worm casting is comparatively quicker than the other composting methods. It’s quite simple actually as the food passes down the earthworm’s gut, and in a matter of time, you get earthworm castings. Apart from being rich in microbial actions and plant growth controllers, the worm castings are also enhanced with pest repelling attributes.
Revitalization of Soil
Revitalization of barren soil through vermicomposting has remained one of the most significant benefits. These worms have the ability to turn barren land into a fruiting one. It is found that these earthworms can even eliminate toxic heavy metals, like lead and zinc, from the soil.
A worming farm allows worms to dig through the soil and spread in it. Even before the compost is spread, worms are already doing their magic of revitalizing the soil deep into the earth. Sources reveal that even the most barren of lands and soil can be brought back by these worms.
Earthworm populations are able to develop mechanisms in their bodies by which they can tolerate and resist the effect of metal-induced stress present in the soil. They can effortlessly turn the fruitless soils into fruiting ones. These abilities nourish the soil and make it much better for future use.
A pivotal reason to commence a worm farm is that it’s promising for the environment. Greenhouse gases are hurting the environment so much more than we can think Methane is one of these harmful gases and is produced when food breaks down in the landfill.
Composting worms reduce a percentage of greenhouse gases generated on the land by doing their jobs. When they transform organic matter into worm castings, the gases produced in the landfill diminish further, which is helpful for our environment.
What’s the Point of a Worm Farm at Home?
Without any further ado, let’s have a look into why and how you can have a worm farm at home easily.
Anyone can quickly learn how to make a worm farm. As said earlier, after completing the bedding and fixing, there’s little or no maintenance required. Just remember to feed your worms regularly and as needed.
Also, keep a check on the conditions too. If there are any problems in the farm, a few minor hacks will usually fix things up. A few things that you need to do while keeping a worm farm are:
- Harvesting of worm castings annually
- Keeping an eye on moisture and air levels
- Feeding worms regularly but not more than required
- Increasing oxygen holes to let oxygen in and avoid anaerobic areas in the farm
- Turning the compost occasionally and mixing it
Can Be Kept Anywhere
Worm farm is easy to look after and easy to place anywhere in the house. As sunlight is not necessary for maintaining a worm farm, this makes it easy to keep anywhere, whether indoors or outdoors. You could have a worm farm anywhere in your apartment or even under your desk at work.
Moreover, as far as the smell of the worm farm is concerned, the farm doesn’t smell until the air supply, and constant food is healthy. This quality makes it convenient enough to be kept at home too.
Almost Free to Start Up
The worm farm doesn’t require any extra pounds to have it made. You only need a few things that are as follows:
- Worms, i.e., Red Wrigglers
- A lidded plastic bin or bucket
- Food scraps that usually come out of the food you eat
- Dirt or soil
- A shovel or gardening gloves to turn the soil (not necessary)
Vermicomposting requires a little care for start-up and nothing more. The worms used are prolific breeders, meaning you can start with a few worms and grow the population with time. But, they multiply according to the environment, i.e. sufficient food, moisture, and air.
A significant contributor to composting is kitchen waste. Food scraps, including the meal preparation waste and cooking supplies, are good to go with your compost bin and, in return, pay to your soil.
One of the primary reasons to begin worm farming rather than a different composting method is the speed of vermicomposting. These composting worms process organic matter a lot quicker than any other method. Moreover, worms are able to digest approximately half of their body weight every day, on an average.
To further enhance the speed of the process, you need to set up a meal that is easy for the worms to digest. You can, for example, chop or strip the organic matter before adding it to the bedding to speed up the composting process significantly.
Doesn’t Smell Bad
Despite the presence of rotting food, always happening bacterial decay, and a lot of worm poop, a properly managed and maintained worm farm will smell like dirt. Full, wet, and living dirt.
Since the worms effortlessly convert all those food scraps into energy, much of the actual amount of waste will be lost. Furthermore, a single, small, and healthy worm farm can easily process the food waste of many people for an extended period without even needing to be emptied.
Keep an eye on the oxygen holes (the air holes in the vermicomposting bin) and moisture level. By keeping them under control you can prevent the bad odor. Couple it up with a regular supply of food scraps and you can ensure healthy growth of the worm farm.
Summing up Worm Farming!
Vermicomposting is a combination of digestion, and the decomposition process of organic matter by worms and happens after the material exits the worm’s body.
Worm farming is, after all, convenient and manageable even for a normal human. Just like cooking, this whole process goes much more smoothly and instantly when done correctly.
Whether you have a garden or not, if you are actually interested in reducing your waste naturally with the tiniest of effort, you need a worm farm. Soon, you’ll observe cuts in the food waste that goes into the garbage. More importantly, you would play your part in helping to save the environment.
So, what’s the point of a worm farm? Not only does it terminate the cost, but it also saves you from the hassle of purchasing composted materials and synthetic fertilizers for your plants.
With a little attention and care to the process, and by adding a healthy batch of fat worms, you can have a regular supply of high-quality compost with just one-time investment.