It may come as a surprise to some that worm farming is beneficial to our environment. After some research into the topic it may be shocking to learn how important these hidden crawlers really are. There is more to them than just crawling through the garden.
Worms have been around since the beginning. During the age of the dinosaurs, worms ploughed through rotting debris and excrement, composting it into a more usable substance. Millions of years ago they were efficient creatures and today they remain the same.
So why is worm farming so important? There are three common reasons for worm farming both commercially and individually. The first reason is for composting.
Worm farming provides an effective and efficient way for composting food waste and other biodegradable items. On the larger scale, worms are used in place of landfills by commercial companies. The worms compost waste eliminating unnecessary overflows in landfills. Certain landfills also use worms to help compost the waste that has build up over time to try to prevent an overflow.
On a smaller scale, home owners and apartment dwellers are able to run their own personal worm farms. The purpose is to provide a more natural way for composting discarded food products and other items, instead of sending them to the local landfills. Various sizes of personal worm farms are available on the market today. These can typically be used both outdoors and indoors for those with limited space.
Having a personal worm farm means that individuals are able to employ worms to naturally compost items such as fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, paper products, soaked cardboard, egg shells and hair. What is given in return by the worms is a naturally nutrient rich organic substance that can enrich soil for gardens, crops and house plants.
This brings us to the next reason for worm farming. Vermicompost, or worm castings, is the product the worms produce as they compost and digest their provided diet. These castings are as rich in nutrients as the food items provided to them. This substance is so rich in nutrients that it can be used as an effective plant food for a small pot for up to two months. Vermicompost is one of the best fertilizers available.
Chemical fertilizers can be replaced by using natural vermicompost. Chemical fertilizers often produce a fast effect, but when the soil is analyzed, it is found that the nutrients in the soil are being further broken down by the chemicals. This requires that even more fertilizer be used later on to produce the same effect.
Chemical pest removers and poisons have led to the destruction and evacuation of worms in many areas. The worms are either killed by the poison or they leave the area as the soil is no longer healthy enough for them to live in.
Using vermicompost as a natural fertilizer helps eliminate the need for chemicals that destroy the soil and rid the area of these helpful worms. Some worms can be used in garden beds, improving the quality of the soil as they plough through pulling water into the soil and aerating the bed as they go.
Another reason for worm farming is the production of worms to be used as live food and live bait. Many exotic pets, birds and aquarium fish require the addition of live worms to their diets. Offering worms for this reason gives pet owners an opportunity to purchase live food that has not been chemically altered or treated.
Professional fishermen, bait and tackle shops, and the fishing hobbyist are often on the search for good suppliers of various worms that are best suited for live bait in both freshwater and salt water. Worm farms offer these buyers a chance to purchase organically raised worms that will produce the best results when fishing.
As surprising as it may seem, worms are a very important part of our environment. Worm farming is just a way to be able to appreciate their effects on a more personal level. They are hard workers and keeping them happy in a worm farm will help ensure a healthier environment, less overflow of the landfills and a higher level of plant growth.