I recently stopped by Ke Ana La`ahana to demonstrate how to harvest vermicast. Though students were eating lunch, two brave 11th grade girls with a keen interest in entemology joined Kumu Joe Vallente and myself in the patient art of harvesting vermicast. In what seemed like the only sunny 30 minutes of the day, we spread a tarp in the sun and emptied the contents of a small worm bin onto the center. First we pulled out any unprocessed paper and food and replace it back into the bin. We gather up the castings and pat them into a rough volcano shaped mound. As worms are photo sensitive they quickly burrow into the center bottom of the cone. Slowly, we removed the castings from the edges and sides of the mound, carefully pulling out any worms and replacing them back into the worm bin. Fresh soaked newspaper strips and food are added to the bin. Eventually we ended up with a small bucketful of castings which will be used in the student’s pineapples.
If you would like help setting up or maintaining a worm bin in your classroom or school garden please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
11th grade student Ihilani Miyasato and Kumu Joe Vallente separate worms from castings
Ihilani was able to identify several worm eggs in the castings
The bin will have more paper and food added to the undigested items seen here and the vermicomposting cycle will begin again.