Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I´m getting worms...

Ok, so what is vermiculture?  In Spanish, it´s referred to lombricultura and in Guaraní we talk about cevo´i, but that doesn´t help you... It´s worm farming!

These are the worm bins from Homi´s family farm in Asunción from when we visited during training.  Mine will not be this big or this fancy.
I would say that when I was with the USDA-NRCS in Ann Arbor, I was working with some cutting-edge farmers and many new concepts in agriculture.  Many of the farmers that I was working with were in their mid-20s and straight off the Student Organic Farm at MSU (of which fellow Paraguay PCV Mason Bradbury is also an alumni); I don´t know why I never heard of worm farming before coming to Paraguay!  Probably because we didn´t cost share it, haha. ;-)  Actually, it´s typically something that´s used on a very small scale, so I guess it doesn´t surprise me that I never came across it.  But it seems like I would have stumbled upon it while searching for cricket farming after I learned that cricket poop is sometimes used in organic farming for fertilizer.

Anyways, I haven´t created my worm box yet... I´ll write more about it after I start.  Part of the upcoming chicken project is talking about worm composting and using the worms as a potential protein source for chicken feed.  Remember balanceado casero?  Dried up worms can be ground up in a molina and created into worm flour. This flour can then be mixed in with ground corn, eggshells, and soybeans or kumanda yvyra´i to complete the chicken feed.

When I mentioned this concept to my community contact, she didn´t seem too convinced, so I´ve got some work ahead of me if I want people to consider using this method of composting.  I need to get my own worm box done as an example... Guess I´ll just add that to the list of things I gotta do soon, haha.  So much to do!  I need to install water, builda shower, built a fence, double-dig my garden and create tablóns, and figure out how to start a worm box.  Busy = Happy, though!

EDIT -- So this is random, but I just stumbled on an exit essay that was posted online from my experience in the Philippines.  I wonder how long it´s been up there?  You can read it here.  Feels like a long time ago, and I´ve officially been in Paraguay for longer than I was in the Philippines... woah.  haha.  Some of you newer readers may have noticed that this blog started way back in 2007 with that international experience.  Life takes you so many places!

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