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Manual of On-Farm Vermicomposting and Vermiculture

By Glenn Munroe
Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada

I have not read the entire paper. What I've read so far looks good. It's probably been posted here before, but I didn't see it in the wiki and thought I'd ask for opinions here before posting it there. What do you think? Good enough for the WormWiki?

Click on the link below, then click on the "How-To" tab. The right hand column will show "On-Farm Vermicomposting and Vermiculture (PDF - 1.6 MB)..." Click on that to download the pdf.

http://www.allthingsorganic.com/

Direct link to PDF download: download immediately

Some quotes relevant to recent discussions:

"Although composting worms O2 requirements are essential, however, they are also relatively modest. Worms survive harsh winters inside windrows where all surfaces are frozen: they live on the oxygen available in the water trapped inside the windrow... Nevertheless, they operate best when ventilation is good and the material they are living in is relatively porous and well aerated."

"...the ideal moisture-content range for vermicomposting or vermiculture processes is 70-90%. Within this broad range, researchers have found slightly different optimums: Dominguez and Edwards (1997) found the 80-90% range to be best, with 85% optimum, while Nova Scotia researchers found that 75-80% moisture contents produced the best growth and reproductive response (GEORG, 2004)."

"It is generally considered necessary to keep the temperatures above 10oC (minimum) and preferably 15 oC for vermicomposting efficiency and above 15 oC (minimum) and preferably 20 oC for productive vermiculture operations."

"Vermiculture is the culture of earthworms. The goal is to continually increase the number of worms in order to obtain a sustainable harvest....Vermicomposting is the process by which worms are used to convert organic materials (usually wastes) into a humus-like material known as vermicompost....If your goal is to produce vermicompost, you will want to have your maximum worm population density all of the time. If your goal is to produce worms, you will want to keep the population density low enough that reproductive rates are optimized."

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Andrew, good idea. Please go ahead and add a link for the vermi manual in the wiki.

I hadn't thought about it but now that you have mentioned it i think there should be a perminant link to it in the wiki.
I know that there isn't a week that goes by when i don't see someone on one of the forums posting a link to it.
Wow, great resource.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a comparable manual for black soldier fly larvae composting?

- Mark
Mark, here are 2 good papers:
BSF Olivier
BSF Newton/Sheppard
I hadn't seen that Newton/Sheppard paper before. Thanks -

Mark
Here's something else I've found helpful from the Manual.
To maximize reproduction, Initial stocking densities greater than 2.5 kg/m2 (0.5 lb/ft2) but not more than 5
kg/m2 (1.0 lb/ft2).

There's more discussion on this subject on page 13 of the Manual.
I love this paper! It's a succinct, but comprehensive and extremely well-done treatise (that was recommended to me about a year ago by another vermicomposting.com member). It's one of a handful of well-written papers that I actually took the time and expense to print out nicely and file.

Gaia

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