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Residents make a wormery

Residents explored the fascinating world of worms with a fun and informative worm farm kit.

As the wild worms - collected from the grounds of Elliscombe House - settle into their new home, we will watch them mix up the different coloured layers in their chamber and feed them leaves. Worms are so important for our ecosystem and it was Charles Darwin who noted that "earthworms ploughed the soil long before the plough was invented."

"Earthworms give life to soil we need to be able to grow our food and to allow trees to grow, which provide much needed life and shade. When they burrow through the earth, they aerate the soil and improve water drainage. No earthworms, no life."

"Earthworms have voracious appetites, eating as much as their full weight every day in decaying organic matter. This is handy because what comes out the other end is pure goodness for soil. Better still, they poop out one and a half times their weight per day, so they’re productive too. Darwin estimated all soil has passed through an earthworm at some time and will pass through an earthworm many times again in the future."

"Earthworm manure, or casts as it is sometimes known, is composed of microorganisms, inorganic minerals, enzymes, and organic matter – it’s basically the best thing that ever happened to your garden. So while earthworms are not cute and fluffy they are ingenious."

"Studies have found the positive effects worm farming can have on soil. Compost from worm manure (known as vermicompost) increased crop yield of tomatoes and strawberries by 30% when compared with standard chemical fertiliser. So next time you see an earthworm stranded on a pavement why not pick it up and return it to the nearest area of grass or ground. It has to work to do, to keep our soil alive."


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