- Describe the process of harvesting worm castings
- Harvest worm castings on their own
The power of poo!
Not something you hear every day but worm castings are the secretions of composting worms. And boy are they powerful. Loaded with nutrients, enzymes, microorganisms, and organic material, worm castings supercharge garden soil.
But the value isn’t just in the nutrition and microbial value. Castings also condition the soil and help with water retention. And when used to make compost tea, castings become even more valuable for the home gardener.
But perhaps the best thing about castings is that they help to close the loop on the food cycle. Scraps from the kitchen that would typically end up in the landfill now take on a second life – a very valuable one at that – helping to improve the soil and provide life-sustaining nutrients for the plants that will once again find their way into our kitchen.
Teach the Teacher
- The Complete Guide to Vermicomposting (included w/ Worm Factory 360)
- The Value of Worm Castings
Tools & Materials
- Compost rakes and spatula
- Container for finished castings
- Feeding tray
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson by describing the worm casting harvest process. The step by step instructions can be found on pages 28-29 of The Complete Guide to Vermicomposting (included with the Worm Factory 360). Describe once again exactly what worm castings are and the value they provide to the soil.
Activity (20 minutes)
Have the Students harvest all trays that are ready. Directly apply some or all of the castings to the raised planters. It can be applied as a side dressing or worked into the soil between plantings.
Discussion (10 minutes)
Were there any elements of the castings that you could identify? Uncomposted scraps? What did the castings feel like? What value will they add to the soil?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you have ever harvested worm castings?
- Now that you know how to harvest worm castings, raise your hand if you think you could do this on your own.
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