NC State Extension is the largest outreach program at NC State University. Her book The Worm Farmer’s Handbook: Mid- to Large-Scale Vermicomposting for Farms, Businesses, Municipalities, Schools, and Institutions was selected to receive Choice Magazine’s (American Library Association) award for Outstanding Academic Title. Earthworms feeds the organic waste materials and passes it through their digestive system and gives out in a granular form (cocoons) … Rhonda organizes the world’s only annual conference on large‐scale commercial vermicomposting (her 20th Annual Vermiculture Conference was in 2019). She has taught composting and vermicomposting in Guyana, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Chile, Italy, Canada, Mexico, and throughout the United States. About vermicomposting earthworms… More than 9,000 species of earthworms have been identified, yet only seven species are suitable for vermicomposting. Earthworms (Crassiclitellata) are terrestrial oligochaetes that usually live in the soil. One species, Eisenia fetida, … Introduction. Of the seven species, only one is typically used in North America: Eisenia fetida (one common name is red wiggler). NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with federal, state and local governments, to form a strategic partnership called N.C. The most common types of earthworms used for vermicomposting are brandling worms (Eisenia fetida) and redworms or red wigglers (Lumbricus rubellus). A study (100 days duration) was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of an exotic earthworm species (epigeic—Eisenia foetida) for decomposition of different types of organic substrates (kitchen waste, agro-residues, institutional and industrial wastes including textile industry sludge and fibres) into valuable vermicompost… She has served on the Boards of numerous associations, including the US Composting Council. Vermicompost worms break down organic matter, such as kitchen scraps, into waste products called castings. Cooperative Extension has offices in every county, Markets for Vermiculture and Vermicomposting Operations, Vermicomposting for Business, Farms, Institutions & Municipalities, Agenda for 20th Vermiculture Conference (held in 2019), Potential Markets for Vermiculture and Vermicomposting Operations, Wormy FACTS and Interesting Tidbits (By Rhonda Sherman). It’s very common for the new vermicomposter to ask “What kind of worms can I use in my worm bin? E. fetida is certainly not the only epigeic worm, but it is the one most often used … Although castings may be waste to the worms, they are a rich treasure for gardeners. They do not have permanent burrows. The types of worms involved in the formation of compost include earthworms, white worms, wrigglers, etc. Vermicomposting is increasing in popularity in households, schools, and businesses. Red earthworm species, like Eisenia foetida, and are most efficient in compost making. Winning books were selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important treatment of their subject. If setting up the bin outdoors, be sure you can maintain temperatures of 55 – 80 degrees F (13 – 27 C) year-round. The best types of worms for vermicomposting are: Red Wigglers – Eisenia fetida Redworms – Lumbricus rubellus These two types of worms are preferred for the compost bin … Not at all. This interesting and attractive alternative to regular composting turns organic waste into a substrate that can be used as a soil amendment and as a growing medium for use in horticulture. She gives about 50 presentations annually and has authored over 65 publications on these topics. I specialize in Red Wigglers – worm composting. It is very important that this species of earthworm is used for vermicomposting, so do not pick up earthworms in the environment and put them in your worm bin. matter. There are nearly 3600 types of earthworms and they are mainly divided into two types: (1) burrowing; and (2) non-burrowing. Your earthworms will survive at 32 – 95 degrees F (0 – 35 C) if they have at least 4 inches of bedding and you insulate the bin during colder months. Read our Commitment to Diversity | Read our Privacy Statement. More than 9,000 species of earthworms have been identified, yet only seven species are suitable for vermicomposting. of worms (1,000 individuals) to start a good-sized compost bin. Rhonda is the founder and director of a two‐acre Compost Learning Lab (CL2) at NC State’s 1,500-acre Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory. There are between 7000-9000 species of earthworms, but only about 7 of them are any good as composting worms types. Vermicomposting is a quick, efficient way to convert kitchen scraps into a rich soil amendment using earthworms. She holds degrees in Environmental Studies and Urban/Regional Planning, and Environmental Resources Analysis with an emphasis in solid waste management. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! And of those, only 4 are readily available in the US. Table 1 gives the summary of the characteristics used to distinguish ecological types of earthworms. Vermicomposting is a type of composting in which certain species of earthworms are used to enhance the process of organic waste conversion and produce a better end-product. Buying Your Worms: Getting What You Pay For . They can be microscopic or several meters long. Most worm farms raise two main types of earthworm: Eisenia foetida and Lumbricus rubellis. There should also be some way to drain excess liquid from the bin (drill holes in the bottom). What separates NC State University from other schools? 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