Thursday November 5, 2020
Waste is one of the trickiest (not treat) parts when it comes to sustainable farming, but it’s one we need to get a handle on as we continue to deplete our planet of resources. We all know we’re supposed to recycle metal, glass, paper, plastic, and cardboard.
But what about kitchen scraps?
Instead of putting your kitchen garbage through the garbage disposal, let your friendly worms turn your garbage into the most dynamite black gold!
As an organic farmer for over 40 years, all I am doing is mimicking what nature has done for millennium in the forest floor. Leaves fall on the ground creating a cool dark home for worms that make top soil through their worm castings. We have tons of worms in our orchards on our farm, but we also cultivate our own special vermiculture (worm composting) worms. We simply put the worms in a closed environment and let them break down food scraps and other compostables by digesting them. The “castings” (aka worm poop) that the worms produce as waste is extremely rich in nutrients. We gather the castings and spread them around the farm. "Black gold," another name for these worm castings, makes an amazingly effective fertilizer!
How to Get Started:
You can get inexpensive kits to start your own vermicomposting operation, or you can make your own worm hotel out of plastic bins or other materials. Just Google search for “worm bins.” We recommend Nature's Footprint for a very affordable worm bin.
Steve’s Tip: Ask around at your local farmer’s market for worms, which may be better suited to the unique environmental challenges where you live. If you strike out, buying worms online should be fine.
Basically, all you have to do is give the worms a damp, dark place with lots of compostable materials for them to eat!
Worms thrive on the “three D’s”: dampness, darkness, and dinner. The practice of vermiculture accelerates the decomposition of composting materials, and their excrement becomes a natural soil fertilizer. The enhanced soil provides organic farmers like us at Hawaiian Organic Noni the ability to sustainably produce Noni Fruit Leather and a variety of Noni Lotions.
Research has shown that one 5 gallon bucket of worm castings will bring back a whole acre of depleted land - that's the potency of worm castings or black gold. Worms will turn any food scraps into this black gold with little attention.
Steve’s Tip: A small amount goes a very long way- we apply 1-2 cups per noni tree per year with outstanding results! Try it in your garden at home!
Have you tried vermiculture on your own? Let us know!