Vermiculture: The Win-Win of Red Wiggler Worms
Raising worms may seem like an unlikely activity for a successful landscape business like Whitehead unless one is familiar with the double benefits of worms. Making lemonade out of lemons may seem positive, but is overshadowed by making a dark, rich organic soil conditioner abundant in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium from overripe produce, fruit and vegetable trimmings, and coffee grounds. Whitehead Landscaping’s vermiculture specialist and worm wrangler, Josh Green, has mastered a large worm operation at Whitehead Landscaping. With his technical advice, starter red wiggler worms, and worm boxes, it’s easy for others to start wrangling worms at home, businesses, or schools.
Red Wiggler Worms (Eisenia foetida) adapt well to domestication and can live as long as four and half years in a worm box. There are two ends to a worm, and they can be named win-win. Red Wiggler Worms love to get their toothless mouths around old produce. In fact, a pound of worms can ingest and digest a pound of organic waste every 24-48 hours. What is one worm’s preferred diet is one of the most challenging wastes for conscientious communities or individuals to manage. Food waste is potent waste in the landfill for creating methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, and diverting food waste is essential to meeting recycling/diversion goals of 50-75%. At the other end of the worm, the expelled undigested food, soil and plant residues called worm casings are a nutrient-rich soil amendment that make plants thrive. Casings mixed in organic potting soil and compost are completely natural and highly nutritious products. In addition, the liquid “worm tea” can be drained from the bottom of the worm box using a built-in spigot and diluted and used for concurrently watering and organically feeding plants.
Whitehead Landscaping’s live Red Wiggler Worms, worm bins, and instructions are all that’s needed for a thriving colony, plus they come with Josh Green’s technical savvy gained after successfully raising worms for six years. With a good home, worms can double their numbers in 90 days. What makes a good home are damp bedding material (like paper, cardboard toilet paper rolls or tissue boxes), darkness, relative quiet, and temperatures within the range of 40-80º. While odorless and demanding very little attention, they are living creatures that need consistency, occasional monitoring, and a food supply of old or overripe produce, vegetable and fruit peels and trimmings, and coffee grounds. Josh can advise on what works best and what to avoid.
Red Wiggler Worms are sold by the pound, with about 1000 worms making up a pound. With shipping, be certain that you are able to immediately receive the order of the live worms and to bring them into an area of proper temperature. Bins come with complete instructions for easily and successfully establishing a good habitat.
For those interested in just the organic worm-manure soil products, they are available as well for sale from Whitehead.
Price for worms
$25.00 per lb.
Price for VermiCompost
Price for Hotels
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