Vermiculture is a type of composting that Bobcat Blend has developed by using fruit and vegetables cuttings from dining halls as a food source for the Red Wiggler worms. Red Wigglers (eisenia fetida) are capable of consuming their own weight in organic matter and soil in a day. Castings (what they leave behind) is the richest and most productive compost known. Earthworm castings contain five to eleven times the amount of N-P-K as the soil that the worms consumed to produce those castings; this is because the intestinal tracts of earthworms act chemically to liberate plant nutrients with the aid of soil microorganisms.
Vermiculture is a delicate process because like all organisms, Red Wigglers need a specific kind of environment for them to be productive. Bobcat Blend trains students on how to take care of the livestock without harming them in anyway.
Red Wiggler Ideal Environment
- Ideal temperatures vary depending on if you have a indoor system or an outdoor system. If the system is indoors, temperatures from 65-90°F will give the worms the ideal environment to eat and reproduce.
- If you have the an outdoor system then you need to be aware of few things. If temperatures drop below freezing, depending on the amount of bedding you have the worms may die, but if you have enough bedding to keep them insulated then they will go dormit which means they will not eat or reproduce but rather fall into a deep sleep until things thaw out. If there are extreme temperatures above 100°F as we have deep in the heart of Texas then you need to make sure to had additional water to keep the worms from drying out along with enough bedding. Outdoor systems have the threat of rodents digging in the piles to feast on the nutrient rich worms, a simple chicken wire lid will take care of this problem.
- Lighting keeps the worms from wanting to crawl out of the containers, in other words the light acts as a natural barrior for the worms.
- Fresh Bedding (You wouldn't like to deficate where you eat, nor do these guys, so providing fresh bedding is a must)
- Fruit & Vegetable cuttings (No citrus), breads and grains, tea bags, coffee grounds & filters.
- Rule of thumb, if you put it in your eye and it does not burn then the worms will like it. No acidic feedstock, no meats or fish, no cheese, no butter, no greasy or oily foods.
- Water in moderations. To much water will cause the worms to rot in their own waste. It will also cause them to crawl out of the containers and most likely dry up and die. Excess water also causes anarobic activity which gives you a fetid odor and a useless product.
- Usually the water that is contained in the feedstock is enough to keep the Red Wigglers in a happy environment but over application of any feedstock results in negative effects casting production.
- Set up a way to capture rain water, since city water tends to be filled with chemicals that sanitize the water and may harm the Red Wigglers.