Varun Venaik | Worm-farming to boost your Organic Garden 
A decade ago, if you had told someone that you were going to start worm farming you would have been met with some raised eyebrows and probably a bit of discomfort. These days, worm-farming has become all the rage, particularly amongst those who are trying to live an organic diet and those who are trying to do so via self-sustainable means like growing their own produce.  

So why should you start a worm farm?

Worm farming allows you to recycle your organic waste directly into compost that you can use in your garden, using a process that is known as vermiculture. As worm eat your organic scraps, they excrete waste, also known as worm castings, which is a wonderful organic fertilizer (one of the best that you can use for your garden). They also produce worm tea, which is the liquid concentrate of worm compost/casings. Most worm farms you can buy has a drainage hole/tap from which worm tea can flow out. varun venaik australia Now if you’re thinking that this sounds like a whole lot of effort and wondering whether you could get equivalent results from buying some compost from your local gardening store, you’d be mistaken.

I’m here to tell you the 5 top advantages of worm farming:

  1. Worm farming saves you money, because you don’t need to buy fertilizers or pesticides. You can even earn money by selling worm tea or worm castings if you are so inclined!
  2. The wonderful process of vermiculture means that worm castings have a much higher number of microorganisms than what you would find in good quality compost that you can buy at the shops.
  3. Feeding your organic waste to your worms is much better for the environment compared to disposing of it in landfill. Disposing of food scraps by throwing it into the garbage (which ultimately finds its way into landfill) creates greenhouse gasses (methane specifically) which is bad for the environment. So, by creating a worm farm and disposing of your food scraps to them you’re doing your bit for the environment and helping slow down global warming.
  4. Worm farms are extremely low maintenance – you’d be surprised how little attention your new pets require once you’ve set them up. All you need to do is feed them every so often with your organic food scraps and they’ll be good to go!
  5. It’s a great way to introduce children and young adults to gardening and genuine recycling initiatives. Once they get over their initial reservations about these crawly little things you’ll find that kids absolutely love engaging with the worm farms! It makes them feel like they have a genuine purpose in looking after another living organism, and they will over time learn the value of sustainability initiatives and recycling.
  So…how can you start?   If reading the above has inspired you to start worm farming then that’s great! Here’s how I suggest you get started.   Firstly, buy a worm farm! Some people build their own, but for beginners I would suggest buying one from your local gardening store. Most worm farms have three levels, each of which serves a slightly different purpose: the first layer, on the bottom of the farm is where the worm castings/tea gather. You should put some newspaper or cardboard on this base section. The second layer (in the middle) is the bedding block or where your worms will rest and digest. Your worm farm will come with a bedding block and should come with instructions about how to lay it down. Your third layer is your worms! Add your worms and then cover them a few sheets of slightly damp newspaper and then some fabric (like an old shirt or part of a hessian sack). And then on top of your fabric add your food scraps, the worms will start to come up from the lower level to feed on the scraps!   You don’t need to buy a lot of worms either as part of your farm. Worms breed quite rapidly so you can start small and them watch them grow in number. It is usually suggested that people start with around 1,000 worms (I know it sounds like a lot but it’s not!).   A lot of people think that worm farms require a lot of space. But that is not necessarily the case at all. You can find super compact ones online and they can fit on balconies and courtyards (that is, you don’t need a giant backyard to have a worm farm!). The best place to put the farm is near your kitchen so you can easily walk to and from it with your food scraps. In winter you want to make sure that the worms have adequate sunlight and in summer you want to keep them undercover away from the blistering heat.   In terms of what you can feed your worms: they love all fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, and teabags/coffee grounds. They do not feed on onion, citrus, garlic, dairy, or any meats or meat related products so avoid putting these into your worm farm.   In not much time at all, your worms will start to excrete ‘worm tea’. You can access this by using the tap at the bottom of your farm. Empty the worm tea into a container and then you can dilute this and use it in your plants for an amazing natural and organic fertiliser.   I hope these tips have been useful and I hope it inspires you to start your own worm farm! Don't forget to check out Varun Venaik   Also Read:    

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