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May 27, 2015


 

Fifth “Backyard Farming” Lecture - Worm Composting For Gardens

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Joan O’Connor of Joan’s Worms tending to her composting worms.

 

The Chichester Garden Club (CGC) and Chichester Agricultural Commission (AgCom) are presenting this spring’s fifth session of “Backyard Farming” lecture series “How to Raise Worms for Your Garden” by Joan O’Connor of Joan’s Worms on May 27 at 7pm, Town Library, 161 Main Street.  

 

These educational events are free, open to the public and are part of Chichester’s YEAR OF THE FARMER promotional endeavor.  

According to her website, Joan O’Connor has a mission:  Demystifying the Art of Vermicomposting (worm composting).   She has been quoted saying “As long as you don’t freeze, bake, or drown the red wiggler worms (eisenia fetida), they are the most efficient yet simplest way to turn organic waste into rich garden compost.” 

 

In 1999, Joan purchased a 640 square foot one-room school house in Henniker, NH.  A strong proponent of recycling as a way to improve and enrich the soil, she began to study the art of vermicomposting.  She discovered equipment needed for worm composting was minimal and ideally suited for a business to pursue out of her small living space.  A plastic storage bin 8” - 16” deep, newspaper, peat moss, vegetable and fruit scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags and paper towels - seemed to be all that was required.  The natural process is worms eat the scraps to make the rich castings (worm poop) and the composted material is used to enrich garden soil.   Worms, after all, eat more than their own weight in food every day.

 

In the beginning, Joan’s worms ate only a few scraps at a time, but as they multiplied and multiplied, they ate larger and larger amounts of food.  Her worm crop became so bountiful, she began selling them.  Today, she can barely keep up with the demand. There is little competition for her line of work – at least in NH. Joan notes that the Canadians are already using worms to devour their municipal waste – an idea she would like to see come to fruition in NH.  

 

The “Backyard Farming” lecture series is part of the CGC’s objective to encourage more flower and vegetable gardens in Chichester, to promote the love of agriculture with emphasis on gardening, civic beautification and environmental responsibility through education and example, while the AgCom’s objective is to protect farmland, support the local agricultural economy, preserve rural character and promote local agriculture to community members and visitors.  And as ambassadors of the farming community, AgComs acts as educators, advisers and promoters to help keep agriculture viable in New Hampshire.

 

Questions or to RSVP, contact Ann Davis nhmaat@yahoo.com or 603-903-3891

 



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