Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Good Can of Worms !

WORMS ! and you automatically get that weird sort of  feeling running through you. Now what does a chef got to do with worms. I am surely not talking about cooking them( at the moment !) but something about them which is really special !
It is about these worms, who have joined the bandwagon to save our planet.

The good worms have actually existed through unknown times. We have heard about the prized silk-worms in ancient history and it is not only silk, they have a active role to play, as aquatic bait, chicken feed farming, devouring hazardous oils in ocean, research and participation in biofarming, vermiculture, so on and so forth and quite recently in Vermicomposting.
Have you heard of a tenacious work force who does not get paid, is given garbage to eat but produces amazing results. Yes, we are still talking about these worms and the last place, you could think of, who need to utilize their services- Five Star City Hotels ! It is a matter of time when it would be mandatory for all hotels to consume or recycle their kitchen waste and it would no longer be allowed to be dumped into already choking landfills. This is the future and has to happen someday or the other, so please lend an ear to these worms !

Vermicomposting is the process of using worms and micro-organisms to turn kitchen waste into a black, earthy-smelling, nutrient-rich humus. It is, without question, one of the most exciting and educational form of recycling, known to modern humans. The  benefits of worm composting help dispose our food scraps without burdening the water treatment facility or landfills, the manure also helps re-establish natural worm populations in the garden that were decimated by poisoning from synthetic fertilizer applications.

The popular worms to do the job are :
  *Redworms - the tiny Eisenia foetida is capable of consuming up to its own weight daily in organic waste. The end result, referred to as worm castings, is highly regarded as a soil amendment.
  *European Night Crawlers - Eisenia hortensis has been traditionally used as bait for anglers, but it is also superior in vermiculture systems.

The cycle consists of seven pits signifying the seven days in a week The kitchen waste is shredded through a pulverisor and evenly distributed on to the pit which requires fine soil, water to keep it moist, ventilation and correct ambient temperature. The amount of worms needed, will depend on the amount of kitchen waste generated per day. Simply scatter the worms over the top. The skin on the worm reacts to light and they will immediately work their way down into the soil to get away from the light.  The kitchen waste fed to worms can come from a variety of sources, including all vegetable and fruit waste. Fill one pit each day and at the end of the seventh day , the worms will have digested nearly all the garbage and the first pit will be filled with a rich, black natural fertilizer. Compared to ordinary soil, the worm castings contain 05 times more nitrogen, 07 times more phosphorus and 11 times more potassium. They are rich in humic acids and improve the structure of the soil. 
With so much of utility and benefits, let us take this step for the sake of our future generations, after all it is we chefs, who produce food as well as garbage !

By : Devraj Halder

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