Will Allen of Growing Power

It was a treat to learn about Red Wiggler Worms
and vermi-composting from the master,
Will Allen, of Growing Power.
In Wisconsin they raise a million tons of compost every year and 100,000 pounds of vermi-compost. When they start seeds and shoots they
use vermi-compost mixed 50/50 with coir,
which is coconut fiber.
A natural product, coir holds moisture as peat moss and vermiculite do.

The event was a workshop at the Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group (SSAWG) conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.

We took a field trip to the Mabelvale Magnet Middle School,
part of the Delta Garden Study which addresses childhood obesity
in the central and delta regions of Arkansas.
Students grow vegetables both outside and in a greenhouse.
They compost the food from their cafeteria and use the compost,
plus the vermi-compost, in their gardens.
The school and the community are involved in the program.


Gardens in Greenhouse at the School

Students at Mabelvale Magnet Middle School

I learned some new tricks and interesting facts about vermi-compost.
It does not contain any e-coli.
The worms process any bad bacteria, leaving only good bacteria.
Wood chips help in the vermi-compost process
are beneficial, adding fungus to the finished product  and providing beneficial nutrients to the soil.
After four months,
the worms will have created beautiful compost
and there will be four times as many worms!