The term Vermiculture means simply the practice of using worms as a means to break down compost materials. Worm Casting, or worm manure, is the byproduct created when worms are allowed to eat composting materials like vegetables, food waste or other organic materials. Worms will eat half of their weight in food per day. As they increase in population, you can increase the amount of scraps. Worms double their population about every three months, but are conveniently self-regulating and will not over-populate.

Benefits of Worm Compsting Include:

Worms in Compost
  • The physical make-up of the soil is greatly enhanced
  • Enriches soil with necessary micro-organisms
  • Improves root growth
  • Boosts germination, growth and yield
  • Increases the ability of the soil to maintain moisture, yet drain more efficiently
  • Worm castings create 10 to 20 times more microbial activity and create a material that is superior to any other compost
  • Vermicompost has more antibiotic properties with which to fight pathogens
  • Worms actually have the ability to reduce bacteria that is pathogenic to people and animals
  • Has a faster rate of decomposition

Basics for Getting Started in Worm Composting:

Worms in Compost
  • You need a container correctly sized for your situation. The rule-of-thumb is to allow one square-foot of surface area for each pound of waste
  • Add a few torn or shredded paper scraps and a small amount of soil
  • Obtain about a pound of Redworms and add to the mixture
  • Add food scraps, but no meat or dairy (see article What to compost)
  • Realize that it will take about 6 months for a good supply of soil.
  • Use a plastic bag to store food scraps in the freezer so that you do not overwhelm the worms (you will get a handle on how much or how little needs to go in as you go along.