Monday. Soil science. Class room work then out to the worm farm. Tiger worms “Earthworms have an important role in breaking down soil and complex chemicals in plant litter and other organic matter. Their burrowing improves soil drainage, conditions for roots, aeration and soil structure.” exstract from The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
“Eisenia fetida (older spelling: foetida), known under various common names such as redworm, brandling worm, panfish worm, trout worm, tiger worm, red wiggler worm, red californian earth worm, etc., is a species of earthworm adapted to decaying organic material. These worms thrive in rotting vegetation, compost, and manure. They are epigean, rarely found in soil. In this trait they resemble Lumbricus rubellus.
They have groups of bristles (called setae) on each segment that move in and out to grip nearby surfaces as the worms stretch and contract their muscles to push themselves forward or backward.
Eisenia fetida worms are used for vermicomposting. They are native to Europe, but have been introduced (both intentionally and unintentionally) to every other continent except Antarctica.” exstract from Wikipedia.”
“Compost (/ˈkɒmpɒst/ or /ˈkɒmpoʊst/) is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming. At the simplest level, the process of composting simply requires making a heap of wetted organic matter known as green waste (leaves, food waste) and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of weeks or months. Modern, methodical composting is a multi-step, closely monitored process with measured inputs of water, air, and carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials. The decomposition process is aided by shredding the plant matter, adding water and ensuring proper aeration by regularly turning the mixture. Worms and fungi further break up the material. Aerobic bacteria and fungi manage the chemical process by converting the inputs into heat, carbon dioxide and ammonium. The ammonium is the form of nitrogen (NH4) used by plants. When available ammonium is not used by plants it is further converted by bacteria into nitrates (NO3) through the process of nitrification.
Compost can be rich in nutrients. It is used in gardens, landscaping, horticulture, and agriculture. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil. In ecosystems, compost is useful for erosion control, land and stream reclamation, wetland construction, and as landfill cover (see compost uses). Organic ingredients intended for composting can alternatively be used to generate biogas through anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion is fast overtaking composting in some parts of the world (especially central Europe) as a primary means of downcycling waste organic matter.” exstract from Wikipedia
Visited Robbie and Rosanna at their Central Wormworx Ltd worm farm, Cromwell.
Tuesday Visit to Felton Road Vineyard and Winery complex. Biodynamics in operation a complete philosophy of returning what you take out.
Missed a day of compost due to appointment in Alexander
Spent the day working in the shed potting up various cuttings and plants for the nursery sale in October and for the Blossum Festival in Alexander.
Spent my day out in the snow composting and soil conditioning with Robbies worm farm products. Mulched with pea straw. The newly planted Cherry trees and the black currants.
Also went out to Bannockburn road Campus and checked out my row of Chardonay vines to see the progress (if any). Apart from the snow there is no movement as yet on the vines.