Goat Yoga News

Pandemic Pause- What is Vermicompost?


Worm Bin

Hello ALL! Lainey here for the next edition of what I like to call a “Pandemic Pause”. I am finally learning how to cook and garden with the real focus on vegetarian and vegan farm to table recipes. With Goat Yoga on hold in the world, we need to put our creative energy into positive things that will help our mind, body and soul get through this. I’m afraid it’s going to be a long road and I’m not sure if Goat Yoga will be back this year, but I do think that on the other end, we’ll have a lot of people that need to smile and laugh and disconnect from stress. Until then…

Growing My Own Food

Those of us who have goats should know that the goat poo is like black gold to gardeners. Every time you clean out that barn, you should be saving the compost. I have been collecting mine since I first got the goats and it is now a mound of black compost chock full of worms. I give this to my friends and family to use in their gardens and they brag every year about how much better their gardens produce using it.

This year, I am learning how to do vermicomposting. “Waste Not, Want Not” is a smart attitude during pandemic times. Is money tight? Have you lost your job? Growing your own food gives you inexpensive nutrition. Throwing away kitchen scraps is wasteful. You could use composting worms to turn trash into organic fertilizer. This fertilizer will help plants grow big and strong, without added chemicals. Free fertilizer for your garden and container plants is a good thing in these trying times. Worms are the superhero’s! You do not even need a big space. You could even do this on your patio if you live in a small space. This is how I started:

  1. Order your worms. I ordered mine from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. There were mixed reviews for this site, but all my worms came and were alive and happy.
  2. You will need two plastic totes. You can find information on how to build your own HERE!
  3. When your worms come in the mail, you will want to get them into the bin as soon as possible. They will be hungry! Fill the tote with organic matter which can be your goat compost. I put about 2 pounds in mine.  I added my 500 worms and put them in the center of the bin. I added fresh vegetable kitchen scraps and dried eggshells, covered with shredded newspaper, and sprinkled with water to make sure everything was moist. Be sure it is not compacted or too heavy or your worms will die of suffocation. Do not kill your worms!
  4. Now you sit and wait and let the worms do their thing! Adding too much food is not good for them so after adding the initial scraps, wait to see how fast they go through it and then add when needed.
  5. When the worms are done with their meal, they will leave you with the black vermicastings that you can harvest and add to your gardens or patio plants.

The worms will multiply if they are healthy and happy! They double their population every 90 days. It’s very expensive to purchase this from a garden center so if you have the supplies, it doesn’t really take a lot of time. You just set it up and they do their thing! We reap the benefits when are gardens start producing an overabundance of organic produce! (That’s me being optimistic since I am a newbie at gardening!)

FUN FACTS:

Do worms have eyes? NO! They are very sensitive to bright light and therefore they try to hide when exposed.

Where is their mouth? The worms’ mouth is in the first anterior segment.

Do they have teeth? Red Worms have no teeth for chewing food. They grind food in their gizzard by muscle action.

If a worm is cut in two, will it grow back? It depends on where the cut took place. If a worm is cut at the posterior end, sometimes a new tail will grow back on. Sometimes a second tail will appear next to a damaged tail. However, the posterior half of the worm cannot grow a new anterior (head.)

I have been fascinated with worms since I was a kid. I would play outside and after the summer rain, there would be earthworms everywhere! I used to find them and immediately pull them in half. I know this sounds terrible, but I thought I was making MORE worms! Sadly, I was not. I still feel guilty about that, but I really did think I was doing a good thing.

Maybe you are learning how to do something new that you never made time for. Tell me about! Have questions? Email me at lainey@goatyoga.net

 

 


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