Tuesday Book Review – The Worm Book

I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient and consistent in my farming.  I like water timers that ensure we deliver an even amount of moisture to the soil.  I like grow lights that deliver the right amount of lumens to help my seedlings sprout and stay happy.  One other way to set a system in motion that will support a healthy garden is to cultivate worms, both to put into the garden, and to create compost and worm “tea” to feed your plants.

The Worm Book: The Complete Guide to Gardening and Composting with Worms

The Worm Book by Loren Nancarrow and Janet Hogan Taylor shows how to begin vermiculture – the process of multiplying worms, and then using them to eat your garbage and give you gorgeous worm casting compost and worm tea.  Important measures of health are provided in the book, such as pH levels, moisture, and aeration, and a large section is given to troubleshooting. I didn’t know that moles will raid your worm bins, but apparently, moles love them.  Yum yum.

 

Red Wigglers

Red Wigglers

Not every state has native earthworms, but in California, they’re essential.  I’m not talking about nightcrawlers, a destructive worm.  I mean red wigglers, the hardworking worm that can “mix and aerate the soil, improve soil structure and water infiltration, help moderate soil pH, bring up minerals in the soil, make nutrients more available to plants, break down plant and animal materials into compost, and increase beneficial microbial action in the soil.”

Simple Vermiculture Bin

Simple Vermiculture Bin

My friend Lynda enjoyed a small vermiculture bin in her suburban backyard like this one.  My aunt Clara had large beds of worms at her ranch in Watsonville.  I look forward to doing the same, and reaping the rewards.  Loren Nancarrow’s book provides me the details to make it happen.  –Allison

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