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Creating Magic for the Garden from Garbage

Posted on 17 February 2015

It felt like summer today and I got a little anxious to start gardening. Since it is only February, I know I can’t put plants in the ground yet, it isn’t safe. I can start my preparations and that got me thinking about a compost bin. I’ve tried composting before. I didn’t have a lot of success with composting and I ended up purchasing commercially composted soil.

This year I was researching composting and came across a better idea- worm casting! I can create a worm farm. I was intrigued to find in a post on Modern Farmer that the compost from worms contains five times more nitrogen, seven times more phosphorus, and 11 times more potassium than ordinary soil. The resulting soil from the earthworms is called vermicompost, a super soil.

When the compost from the worms is added to the soil, it has almost magical effects. The soil structure is improved and that increases the yield. With the additional nutrients, the flavor of the harvest is also enhanced, according to Modern Farmer.

Jack Chambers has a one acre worm farm in Sonoma County, California. In the 23 years since he has farmed it, he believe he has diverted 1.8 million ton of food and agriculture waste from the landfill. In addition to the compost, Chambers sells worms to home composters.

Though the Chambers worms feed mostly on manure from a nearby dairy, worms of home worm farms can feed on the same table scraps that you could put in a composter, as well as newspaper and cardboard. Moderation and diversity in the food stuffs keeps the balance in the worm farm.

Worms can be purchased by the pound in a bait shop or from a worm farmer. When you have all your worms, bedding, and food, you are ready to build your little worm farm.

Master Vermicomposter Meghan Elliot has created her worm farm out of 18 plastic bins and showed me how it is done in 8 easy steps at the end of the Modern Farmer post. I made sure I read all the way to the end because the results are, at the very least, exciting. I can’t wait to get started and get my little worm farm creating for my soon to come little garden.

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