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Introducing Vermiculture 1
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Introducing Vermiculture 1


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Hortykim's slide shows how we are damaging our planet and what role worms can play if we embrace re hab for the earth by encouraging healthy food webs.

Hortykim's slide shows how we are damaging our planet and what role worms can play if we embrace re hab for the earth by encouraging healthy food webs.

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  • 1. Vermiculture 1 Intro Kim Thomas/ Natural Resources 2012Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 2. VermicultureIn our last session we looked at the importance of the soil food web.“The soil food web is the community of organisms living all or part of their lives in the soil. It describes a complex living system in the soil and how it interacts with the environment, plants, and animals.” Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 3. Vermiculture QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 4. Introducing vermicultureSome of the main problems we face at the moment are soil degradation,unhealthy soils and not recycling our organic wastes.Worms are the key to a more fertile and healthy planet. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 5. Introducing vermicultureThere are some startling observations and considerations made by David Murphy which include the following: QuickTime™ and a decompressor2 million years = 1 billion are needed to see this picture. people2025= 10 billion people Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 6. Introducing vermicultureRapid increase in population=more wealth= more extravagance=more food=more meat. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 7. Introducing vermicultureTo get 1 kg of beef onto the BBQ = 7kg grain = 9000 litres of water.So more people,more food,more land,more water.We currently use heaps of phosphate to sustain current levels of food production. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 8. Introducing vermicultureEvery year 75 billion tons of top soil washes into the sea worldwide = 100 million hectares of productive land gone.Human existence is not a natural cycle. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 9. Introducing vermicultureWe are the only species that does not utilise our waste-we usually bury it in plastic bags in landfill.Anaerobic rubbish in bags=carbon turning into methane. QuickTime™ and a decompressorIn soil carbon sustains life are needed to see this picture. in landfill it creates poison. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 10. Introducing vermicultureThe OM content of the earth’s soils used to be QuickTime™ and a 20% it is now 1%. decompressor are needed to see this picture.1kg of wheat =7kg of top soil depleted.We destroy the soil structure,soil texture and disrupt the soil food web QuickTime™ and a decompressor by constant additions of are needed to see this picture. synthetic fertilisers. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 11. Introducing vermicultureThe problems seem unsurmountable but the damage we have done and are doing to our soils can be remedied!We need to turn our organic waste into compost and return it to our soil so that we have healthy soil food webs. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 12. Introducing vermicultureThis return of organic life will include increased worm activity and healthy agricultural land.As horticulturalists we will have the skills to do this and you can start in your own back yard or farm. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 13. What is vermiculture?The cultivation of earthwormsAristotle described them as “the intestines of the earth”Cleopatra established laws to protect themDarwin doubted whether any other animals played so important a part in the history of the world Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 14. What is vermicomposting?The process of worms and micro organisms to convert dead organic matter into nutrient rich humus.Organic matter cycles through the worm’s digestive tract and is excreted as castings. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 15. Castings-what are they good for?They help air and water permeate the soilBoost nutrientsEnhance soil structureCan be used for different growing medias in the nurserySlow or repair soil degradation Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 16. Worm classificationThere are over 3500 species of earthworms- one of the smallest(American bark worm) is just over a cm. long and one of the QuickTime™ and a the largest(The giant decompressor are needed to see this picture. south African) measured 7 meters long. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 17. Worm classificationMarcel Bouche’s system divides earthworms into 3 categories: epigeic,endogeic and anecic. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 18. Worm classificationThe worms in the epigeic category are the ones we will focus on for vermicomposting and specifically the tiger worm.They occur naturally on the soil surface in freshly decaying organic matter. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 19. Worm classificationThe unit you are studying will open your mind to the benefits worms can give to develop healthy gardens,improve soil productivity,make money and most importantly counter-act some of the damage we are doing to our earth. Hortykim Otago Polytechnic 2012
  • 20. QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture.