Resources and Events
The New Forests Project
provides tree seeds, technical information, and training materials free to groups interested in starting reforestation projects with leguminous trees. Available for immediate distribution are high quality seeds of Cajanus cajan (pigeon pea), Leucaena lercocephala (ipil-ipil), Gliricidia sepium (madre de cacao), Robinia pseudocacia (black locust) and Prosopis juliflora (mesquite). Please include a description of your planting conditions, including elevation, acreage, annual rainfall, length of rainy and dry seasons, temperature range, soil characteristics and the purpose of the tree planting.
The New Forests Project
731 Eighth Street, SE,
Washington, DC 20003 USA
Driven By Nature: Plant Litter Quality and Decomposition
an international conference sponsored by Wye College of London. The conference will provide a forum to facilitate an understanding of the factors which determine the decomposability of plant litters. Topics include: Analytical approaches to plant litter quality, pathways of plant component degradation, food web successions, manipulation of plant quality and others. Paper abstracts are now being accepted. Date: September 17-20, 1995. Location: Wye College, University of London
Dept. of Biological Sciences,
Wye College, Wye,
TN25 5AH, UK
"how to" Worm Books
Raising Earthworms for Profit is a comprehensive guide which details each step in creating a small- or large-scale earthworm-raising enterprise. The guide begins by explaining the different kinds of earthworms available, the reproduction rate and the benefits to soil, i.e. an increase in organic matter. It also shows how raising rabbits can be combined with worm breeding, as worms can process rabbit droppings into rich vermicompost.
Planning the earthworm project, building, feeding, protecting worms from their natural enemies, harvesting, packaging and shipping worms and necessary supplies are all discussed in detail. Drawings, clear close-up photographs and diagrams illustrate these concepts. The final section provides an annotated list of further reading. For those who want to begin a profit-making earthworm project, this guide provides a solid base covering major aspects of the operation.
The following handbooks are also useful for earthworm enthusiasts.
For information on where to purchase earthworms and to buy bedding, bins, packaging and other supplies read the Earthworm Buyer's Guide 1994-95.
Raising the African Night Crawler or Tropical Giant Worm tells us that this worm, known for its ability to withstand extreme heat, can be easy and profitable to raise as bait. This guide provides information on bins, bedding, feeds and feeding, harvesting, packing, shipping and selling the nightcrawlers.
Shields, Earl.1994 (Nineteenth Edition). Raising Earthworms for Profit. Shields Publications, 128 pages, US $7.
Shields, Robert F.1994. Earthworm Buyer's Guide. Shields Publications, 63 pages, US $5.
Morgan, Charlie.1970. Raising the African Night Crawler or Giant Tropical Worm. Shields Publications, 53 pages, US $5.
P.O. Box 669, Eagle River,
WI 54521, USA
Tel: (715) 479-4810
From Garbage to Garden
If you have been toying with the idea of vermicomposting, but are intimidated by the technical complexity of keeping all those little worms alive, fear no more. Mary Applehof's book, Worms Eat my Garbage, is a comprehensive but simple guide to vermicomposting. It tells you what species of worms you need, where to get them, how many you need for the quantity of waste you wish to process and more. This is an easy-to-follow description of how to start your own vermicomposting system.
Even in its tenth printing, this book is hardly outdated. The book continually informs readers about the earthworms' relationship with soil quality. Types of worm beddings, container size, temperature and labor requirements and reproduction rates are some of the relevant topics covered. The book's simple approach to vermicomposting allows readers to understand the basics and begin experimenting with their own composting system. Included in this book are a useful glossary, a metric conversion sheet, a personal record sheet for your own project, bibliographical references and sources for further exploration into earthworm cultivation and composting. For the novice, there is no better place to begin.
As Mary Appelhof explains, vermicomposting is a relatively simple process and easily understood after a few basic principles and techniques are explained. Upon reading her book, a reader can become the worm expert and composting aficionado they have always wished to be.
10332 Shaver Rd.
Kalamazoo, MI 49002, USA
Tel: (616) 327-0108