Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Vermi-compost using Tiger Worm (Eisinia fetida)

Kitchen-wastes and an interested Sulphur Crested Cockatoo looks on!
Your kitchen-wastes or scraps is a resource! It's a food source for the voracious Tiger worms aka Red wriggler (eisinia fetida). So stop wasting your resources! the pic on top shows my kitchen-wastes bowl containing carrot peels, mung bean sprouts, egg shells, some green vegs, some left over noodle/pasta, and tea bags but no dairy prods or meat.
On your left is my worm home made from non-toxic plastic (sorry guys, it's still fossil-fuel derivative, but's useful!) by the innovative Oz company RELN Worm Factory. Excellent system other than slight difficulty with setting the 4 stands. It's a three tier system. The top a perforated feeding tray, the middle tray is also perforated and lined with coconut husk fiber serves as the worm home and the bottom for collecting the magnificently potent worm-tea (warning! always dilute with some water 1:4 ratio is good) overfeeding apparently may kill your fave plant too! (more on the difference between "worm-tea" and "leachate" click here

Hessian/Jute c
Here is a blanket of hessian (Jute aka good-ole "karung goni")
to keep moisture in and kept flies disinterested to lie their eggs.
I spray with water, sprayer nozzle set on mist or denser but not runny. Btw, a proper worm-tea is not smelly, if it is try tuning-up your system by adding dolomite/calcium eg ground egg shells or similar material. If you noticed the bottled "worm-leachate" on the right, that's because I was ignorant that proper worm tea CANNOT be bottled and left in hot sun. It naturally turned foul as anaerobic bacterias thrive on this condition! these bacterias emit foul gas hence the putrid smell. Best is to mix your own vermicast with some water and check the bubbles/froth. It should be clear froth and no smelly brown scum on top.
"The Hilton Residence"
 This is the scene of the middle tier aka the "Worm Hilton" - 
it should be moist but not wet, notice the sprouting seeds on top left corner, looks like it came from my Rock Melon seeds!
Right on top of it you will see some happy fully fed worms hanging down...yeah guess  the just finish gorging on my kitchen wastes hehehe...ooh also check that the top tier has holes so that worm can migrate back to their home once had a full stomach. It still amazed me even now to think that a single worm can eat HALF of its body weight every day!

To collect the "nutritious" worm-casting always choose a nice sunny day. Take their "Hilton Residence" out on the lawn or a safe and pet free open space. Turn their "Residence" upside down on top of a old blanket or plastic tarpaulin (you know those blue ones!) then create a "MOUNTAIN" or mound of the vermicast and as worm are photo-sensitive meaning they easily burn in hot sun - they will all dive down to the bottom of the mountain freeing you to harvest the top(sometimes there are fat n lazy worm) can't be bothered to move down, just pick them up and put them on the bottom, they will quickly wriggle into the mound for safety. 
Happy harvesting your vermicast :)
Eisinia fetida
 [...] Singapore needs to consider urban agriculture in policy and to increase not only research into areas of agro-technology and agro- and hydroponics but also about how to bring those actions to the local, community level. 

We need to learn to eat more sustainably, that means less meat due to its high carbon footprint (being flown in from different parts of the world and chalking up “food miles”

We cannot remain ignorant to the fact that even the food we eat contributes to short-term climate change ie global warming and being in a country/city that is highly dependent on external food sources, we need to begin to move towards more sustainable forms of getting food and eating food...or even disposing of food.