There are quite a few books about worm farming out there. A lot of them talk about the same thing, but how reliable is the information in those books?
When I first started with worm farming, I read through a lot of online articles and started to apply various tips and advice only to find out later on that they were the reasons of some luckily non-critical issues. Things such as watering your worm bin weekly and use the so-called worm tea which is actually leachate. Those tips are very popular and can actually work a treat, however they have the potential to be fatal.
Watering your worm bin on a weekly basis to generate leachate creates various issues:
- it removes nutrients and bacterias from your worm casting
- it takes with it unprocessed food particles which can then go anaerobic if the leachate is left sitting in the collection tray for more than several days.
- in a plastic stacking system it creates anaerobic pockets because plastic does not breath and those systems have poor air flow so moisture is trapped
- in summer it can kill the worms, anaerobic environment is formed, water being a good thermal conductor will drive the heat in the core of the bin and this combo can be fatal
Using leachate, the so-called worm tea/worm wee, is like playing russian roulette. It can either work great or kill your plants and spread pathogens. This is due to the fact that leachate takes with it unprocessed food particles that can ferment in the liquid. Then when left for a while, the lack of oxygen will make the leachate anaerobic and bad bacterias develop and there is formation of pathogens. Chris D. from Perth, one of my Facebook followers, has told me of his experience with leachate: "i used leachate on my staghorn and bonsai and it killed them". Chris D. later told me he used the leachate undiluted when that happened. Indeed, if you insist on using leachate, it is advised to dilute 1 part leachate for 10 parts water to minimise any potential risks. Proper worm tea is what we call aerated worm casting/compost tea where finished worm castings is taken and added to a bucket of water which then is aerated with an aquarium bubbler.
Later in my journey in worm farming, I discovered Vermicomposting - Worm Farming, a Facebook group of 13K+ members (at the time). The admins from around the world were such a friendly bunch of people and give their time for free to help out beginners. This is where I got to know Pauly Piccirillo, some gave him the nickname "DrWorm" due to his great knowledge about worm farming. Pauly is also famous for succeeding in growing a healthy organic garden by the use of worm castings and worm tea.
Pauly has just released one of his eBook as a paperback book. I have read the eBook and can confirm that information it contains are safe and helpful for both the beginner and the experienced worm farmer. Although I knew most of basic informations the book is mentioning, it was a great refresher and I also learned few new things and Pauly gave some useful ideas for a commercial operation.
Before moving to Australia, I used to do a lot of photography in the UK. With the birth of my boy, I slowed down this side activity to just family portraiture (my own family) but I enjoyed doing it again in relation to worm farming: see my worm farming photos on Facebook. One of my photographs of worm hatching from their cocoons has been selected to be printed in the paperback book.
Today, I have received the paperback book in my mailbox, I won the first place in one of the various competition Pauly had run on his website. Over 270 pages, that is a lot of good info!
If you are after a useful and reliable book to start vermicomposting, I can't enough recommend you to get your copy of "The Worm Farming Revolution"
A day in a worm farm on Jul 19, 2016
by Quoc-Huy Nguyen Dinh