Vermicompost or Black Gold
Vermicomposting is a cost-effective and more crop-friendly fertilizer option. It is the method of preparing compost using earthworms. Earthworms eat biomass and excrete in digested form, called worm casts or Black Gold.
The first step towards vermicomposting is selecting the right kind of earthworms. In
four varieties of earthworms are commonly used for composting. The worms used
are called ‘manure worms’, which can be grown on animal dung, poultry
droppings, vegetables and other biodegradable matter.
The types of vermicompost depend on the amount required and composting structures. Small-scale vermicompsting caters to personal use and large-scale production is done by recycling large amounts of waste with production reaching upto 200 tonnes annually. While there are several methods of vermicomposting, the bed and pit methods are most commonly used.
Vermicompost has several advantages:
- It allows efficient conversion of organic wastes/crop/animal residues
- Stable and richer soil fertilizer
- Helps reduce growth of pathogenic microbes
- Helps eliminate toxicity of heavy metals
- Economically healthier option and environmentally safe, nutrient supplement for organic food production
- Easy production and low cost technology
8 easy steps for vermicompost preparation:
- Build or purchase a worm bin
- Purchase worms for vermicompost bin
- Add some amount of soil to the bin to form the bottom layer.
- Add the worms to the vermicompost bin
- Add food scraps to the bin and cover it with a layer of soil
- Sprinkle water sometimes and wait for a period of approx 30-40 days
- Remove the worms when the compost is done
- Harvest the vermicompost