Vermi Directory

 

Videos

 

Home

 

Vermiculture in Canada and other resources - designed by snapshots365@yahoo.ca

    vermiculture canada

Share

 

Great 24x7 customer and after sales support team, both online and via telephone ! Great Team!

 

Nature In Buckets - Saving plastic buckets from dumpsters and landfills. A concept for the community of Kincardine and Bruce Country, Ontario, Canada by the Agro-Ecology Council - Save Eath Save Lives Int'l (NGO)

 

This is our online store where you can buy the best worms, from home-sheltered vermi-bins, fed with food scraps from the kitchen table !

 

Composting in the city - is all about recycling kitchen scraps into natures organic remedy using worms. Check it out ~

 

This is where we are . . .

 

 

 
     

Nature In Buckets

 

Store

 

Fun with worms

 

Location

     
       
     
Recycling with worms and related activities
(In this article you will see how easy it is to set up and maintain your own indoor family or classroom worm bin.)
 


 
 

Recycling with earthworms

Worms consume and recycle organic material, it’s engaging, educational, fun, and yes…creepy and crawly!

Your children will discover how to keep, feed and maintain worms while having numerous (almost endless) related science projects throughout the summer and way into the school year.

Keeping a worm bin can strengthen children’s problem solving skills and scientific methodology practice (even with young children). The end result of having an indoor worm bin is harvesting the worm castings (the greatest natural fertilizer).

Now, let’s get started...

back to the top

What is Organic Matter?

Organic matter is anything made of living or once-living animals or plants. This can include paper, cotton socks, hair clippings, eggshells, wooden rulers, dead animals, corn husks, and leaves. IDEA: Have your children go around room and label items as organic or inorganic. Discuss what things are made from and what makes it “organic”.

back to the top

People Produce Garbage

Approximate 600 pounds of solid waste per year!

An estimated 10%-20% is organic waste and can be recycled into a rich source of nutrients for plants and trees using vermi-composting (composting with worms!).

IDEA: Chart how much garbage your household/classroom produces per day, week, and year.

How much of that garbage is organic? Start weighing and keep track. What can your home/class do to recycle or cut down on waste?

back to the top

Worms Eat Organic Matter and Help Plants Grow

Worms eat and digest organic matter, burrow through the soil, and leave behind castings (manure) – a super source of nutrients for plants and trees. This is a SLOW-release, organic fertilizer, that will not burn plants.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For books on vermiculture and other vermi-supplies, please visit our online store

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Within the gut of a worm, soil and decomposed organic material are mixed. The sand or soil in the worm’s gut helps break down the organic particles and is mixed together with microscopic bacteria, fungi, and mold. When the worm excretes the castings (manure) the microorganisms in the castings add to the health of the soil. They are all held together in a sheath that acts like a binder and dissolves slowly over time as food for plants. Cool.

back to the top

Some Facts About Worms

  • No worm diseases are communicable to humans.

  • Worms have no bones, eyes, arms or legs.

  • Worms are hermaphroditic – having the reproductive parts of both the male and female.

  • In the wild, worms can consume up to their own weight in organic food every day.

  • Worms need a great deal of moisture but can’t swim.

  • Worms are nocturnal – and for a good reason. Direct sunlight can kill them in less than three minutes.

  • The first 1/3 of a worm’s body contains most of the vital organs, the rest 2/3 of a worm are the intestines.

  • Salt is harmful, even fatal to worms.

  • Worms can’t hear but they respond to vibration, light, and temperature.

  • Adult Red Worms have between 80-120 circular rings on it’s body.

  • Setae, little hair-like legs help the worm tunnel, move and grip onto objects. Satae is made from same thing as fingernails called chitin.

  • Worms have 5 hearts (more to love!)

  • Worms have a mouth but NO teeth. Repeat – NO TEETH!

  • The worm produces enzymes which act as both insecticide and antibiotic for the worm.

  • These are passed on to the plants as they absorb the worm castings. Worms and plants have a symbiotic relationship.

back to the top

DISCUSSION: What other animals have a symbiotic relationship?

Eisenia fetida – the preferred composting worm, known as the red worm, is top feeder staying less than 12 inches below the ground. Worms breathe through their skin.

back to the top

Steps to Setting Up Your Worm Bin

Worms need a roomy “floor space” but anything deeper than 12” will not be used by the worm. A worm bin can be made from just about any old (untreated) wooden box, plastic bin, metal drum, even an old baking pan.

We suggest starting out with a 10-14 gallon Rubbermaid or Sterilite-type storage bin found in Target or Wal-Mart. Do not use a clear bin because worms like it dark! Drill ¼ holes approximately 4” apart in the lid and bottom. These holes are for air flow and drainage. NOTE: Worms will try to escape through the holes unless there is a major problem in the bin. See trouble shooting below.

Take an old cotton shirt or pillow case and soak it in water. Squeeze the water out and use it to cover the bottom. This allows excess moister to drain out while keeping the bedding in!

Yes, worms need bedding. We use shredded newspaper and cardboard that is soaked in water for 24 hours to make sure any chlorine evaporates. The bedding should be damp but not wet! If you can squeeze more than two drops of water from the bedding it is too wet. Fluff the bedding and fill the bin almost to the top.

Worms need soil or sand to act as “grit” in their guts. Worms also need other organic matter to help break down food small enough for the worm to eat. A handful of organic potting soil (NO FERTILIZER) should have enough microorganisms to get the bin started.

Eventually you might find mold, fungi, bacteria, sow bugs, Spingtails (tiny bugs), grubs, and mites in your ecosystem that act as PRE-DIGESTERS. These are all part of your mini ecosystem

You can also use aged compost or manure from goats, cows, horses, rabbits, or chickens in place of potting soil but DO NOT use human, dog, or cat manure.

Now it’s time to add the composting worms. We only use red wiggler worms known as Eisenia Fetida. The worms will need a few days to settle into their new digs. You may keep your worm bin under the kitchen sink or in the laundry room – anywhere it is not too hot or cold. There are many places to buy worms. You can buy worms (remember, they must be red wigglers) from our online store.

back to the top

Worms Grow

An adult (3 month old) worm can produce 2-3 cocoons per week. 11 weeks later the cocoons hatch. Each cocoon produces around 3 hatchlings and in 2-3 months they are ready to produce. A population can double very quickly. IDEA: Do the math and figure out how many worms you’ll have in a year if you start with two, or eight, or twenty.

A worm cocoon is small yellow lemon-shaped object about the size of an “O”. Hatchlings first appear white then turn pink and finally red after around eight hours. The little buggers are HUNGRY and can eat!

back to the top

Worms Eat

How much to feed worms? In captivity they will only eat about half their weight per day. In a container collect kitchen scraps of organic matter listed below. Chopping and freezing waste aides in the molecular breakdown. Soaking cotton, paper towels & cardboard help too and add moisture to the bin.

back to the top

What to Feed Them

Apples, pears, banana peels, bread, corn cobs & husks, coffee grounds and filters, veggies or all types, egg shells (they need the calcium!!), tomatoes, melon rinds, onion peels, celery sticks, carrot tops, cardboard, paper, old cotton socks, oatmeal, muffins, strawberry tops, rotting lettuce, napkins, and honeydew melon to name a few.

back to the top

What NOT to feed them

Salt or salty items such as potato chips, milk or creams, dairy items such as cheese, no meats, pressure treated wood, grass or leaves that may have been treated with pesticides, snack foods like fries, olives, no carbon paper, animal manure, citrus waste (oranges & lemons), vinegar, green grass (they create high temperature) alcohol, fruit pits, chemicals of any kind, or plastics.

back to the top

Trouble Shooting

Trouble is bound to happen. After all this is a LIVING ecosystem with many variables to consider such as temperature, food, chemicals, bedding, and nature itself. Part of the learning process is to observe, come up with theories, experiment, take corrective action, adjust and make conclusions…THINK!

Too wet? Add dry cardboard to soak up some moisture.

Have ants? It’s too dry or exposed food. Add some water or frozen foods to bedding and bury the food just under the bedding.

Have many mites? It could be too much wet or you may have too much food.

It smells! Lack of air, too wet –try to fluff bin, bury food, add dry bedding, & check drainage. A healthy worm bin should have a pleasant earthy, forest smell. Anything else is a red flag that something is wrong.

Have fruit flies? –You probably have exposed food – bury food just under bedding.

Have white thread-like worms? These are natural. Do nothing.

Worms try to escape? May be too wet, did you add salty foods, chemicals, maybe overpopulation is happening. Is the temperature too hot (do not keep over 84 degrees).

back to the top

The Harvest

In 4-6 months from building the worm bin you can harvest! The day before harvesting the worms shred and soak newspaper for new bedding you will need. On the harvesting day take a plastic table cloth and lay it out on a table outside. Wear gloves (to avoid getting our oils on the worm cocoons). Make 4- 5 cone-shaped mounds of humus on the table. The worms will dive down for cover to escape the sunlight. Take this time to prepare your new bin. Every five minutes or so take the top 2-3” layer of the mound off and put aside in another container – this is the HUMUS – the good stuff we’ve been waiting for! Continue until you are left with mostly worms and quickly add those worms to new bin. Extra worms can be used for another bin.

Castings (worm manure or humus) can be used right away as plant food or fertilizer. It will not burn plants and is safe to use even indoors around pets. IDEA: Experiment to see if plants grow faster and taller with your worm casting fertilizer or with store-bought chemical ones.

back to the top

WORM TEAS – or liquid fertilizer is another great product to use.–Take one cup of castings and place in a sock, stocking (no fishnets) or cheesecloth. Soak in one gallon of water for three days. Pour liquid into a small spray bottle to use on household plants.
You can still use the castings from the tea in your home or school garden! Here's a great

back to the top

FUNDRAISING IDEA – Package worm castings or Worm Tea and sell to parents, teachers or neighbors for fundraising projects.

back to the top

Additional Family/Classroom Discussion Questions and Projects

Observe a worm. What are the physical characteristics of the worm? How does it behavior in light, what are its needs? What does it FEEL like, SMELL like, LOOK like, SOUND like?

What makes a worm different than an insect, bear, fish?

Discuss the shape of a worm, the way it moves, and which is the front? Which end is the back? Can the move backwards?

More fun ideas: Create a worm center, come up with funny worm sayings for t-shirts, write worm casting commercials, or a commercial for a garbage collecting agency owned by worms looking to buy used organic table scraps.

Keep a daily or weekly worm journal! Weigh the worms, the garbage, the whole bin, and the castings. Keep a list of what they are eating and when they are eating.

back to the top

source:  Vermiculture Canada - http://www.vermicanada.com

 
  Books and instructional video we recommend  
 

 

This captivating video zeroes in on the tiny organisms often seen but rarely identified in a worm bin. Under Warren's microscope, well-lit colorful, and in focus, busy little creatures such as springtails and mites amuse and entertain as they busily go about in search of food or shelter. Concise, interesting, and informative narration makes this video not only fun to watch, but another excellent teaching tool for all ages.

 

  Three creative educators collaborated to produce this guide for classroom and home. Centered around a classroom worm bin, this curriculum uses over 150 worm-related activities to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills in children grades 4-8. Rich in content in "Wormformation" paragraphs integrates science, mathematics, language arts, biology, solid waste issues, ecology, and the environment in ways that draw children into the learning process. Three sections include "The World of Worms," "Worms at Work," and "Beyond the Bin." Includes 16 appendices, resource materials, teacher's guidelines, bibliography, glossary, and index. User has permission to photocopy for use in the classroom
     

  Worms are the latest (as well as, of course, perhaps the oldest!) trend in earth-friendly gardening, and in this handy guide, the authors of DEAD SNAILS LEAVE NO TRAILS demystify the world of worm wrangling, with everything you need to know to build your own worm bin, make your garden worm-friendly, pamper your soil, and much much more.
     

  Three creative educators collaborated to produce this guide for classroom and home. Centered around a classroom worm bin, this curriculum uses over 150 worm-related activities to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills in children grades 4-8. Rich in content in "Wormformation" paragraphs integrates science, mathematics, language arts, biology, solid waste issues, ecology, and the environment in ways that draw children into the learning process. Three sections include "The World of Worms," "Worms at Work," and "Beyond the Bin." Includes 16 appendicies, resource materials, teacher's guidelines, bibliography, glossary, and index. User has permission to photocopy for use in the classroom.
 
 

back to the top


Help us continue with this public service, register your website and domain name by clicking on this link. This website is hosted by Arvixe, our 24-hour partner. Arvixe has a great 24x7 Global Customer and after Sales Support. A team that provides you with their own highly specialized brand of personalized service. Staffed with kind and courteous personnel, Arvixe guarantees a 24-hour hot-line assistance to help you out by phone or via internet chat 7-days a week.  Thank you so much for visiting Vermicuture Canada. Website and design by snapshots365@yahoo.ca.

Your online vermiculture source, Vermiculture Canada - http://www.vermicanada.com

 

 

Choice books
and instructional video from Amazon.Com

 
 

This captivating video
 zeroes n on the tiny organisms often seen but rarely identified

in a worm bin.

 

Three creative educators collaborated to produce this guide

for classroom and home. Centered around a classroom worm bin, this curriculum uses over 150 worm-related activities to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills in children grades 4-8. Rich in content in "Wormformation".

 

 

 

Worms are the latest (as well as, of course, perhaps the oldest!)
trend in earth-friendly gardening, and in this handy guide, the authors of DEAD SNAILS LEAVE NO TRAILS demystify the world of worm wrangling.
 
Three creative educators collaborated to produce this guide
for classroom and home. Centered around a classroom worm bin, this curriculum uses over 150 worm-related activities. Three sections include "The World of Worms," "Worms at Work," and "Beyond the Bin."