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When first introduced to composting worms I was slightly hesitant to delve my clean hands into a bath full of slimy worms and their droppings.

Ten years later, you can’t keep me away!

Once you’ve created your own worm farm you’ll never be able to live without one.

Not only will you be helping the environment but you’ll also be helping yourself!

Over 30% of all household rubbish is “green” waste (organic matter) that can be composted and re-used for a productive purpose.

Instead in most cases, it’s hauled away to refuse stations, at the householder’s expense and thrown into landfill where it decomposes, releasing:

  • Atmospheric pollutants (methane and other toxic gases).
  • Groundwater pollutants (via leeching into artesian basins).
  • Surface pollutants, which in turn increases the amount/risk of pest and disease outbreaks.


The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, once defined worms as: “The intestines of the soil”, which isn’t far off

the mark.  Basically an earthworm is a large digestive, muscular tube that tunnels it’s way through the

soil, consuming at one end and depositing at the other.

There are approximately around 2 700 species (different kinds) of earthworms around the globe.

One of the smallest earthworms is approximately 1 centimetre long and one of  the largest can be 2 metres

long.  The Giant Gippsland Earthworm is one of the worms largest earthworms. Unfortunately it is listed as

a “vulnerable” species with International Union for the Conservation of Nature. It has an average length of

up to 80cm and a width of 2cm. This may not sound too extraordinary, but when this worm is relaxed it can

double its size!  This means the Giant Gippsland Earthworm can reach the size of nearly 2 metres in length!

Earthworms are found right around the globe including: Australia, the Sahara Desert, Iceland and Mongolia

are among only a few countries that have their own individual native species. Although several species live

in differing horizons (layers) in the surface layers of soil, others can be found in decomposing logs, in the

trees – the upper angle between the branch and the trunk, even sometimes up to 9 m above ground or along

the damp soil surrounding rivers and ponds.

Earthworms are not suitable for composting though.  Please refrain from digging them out of your garden and

putting them into the worm farm!

Earthworms are similar to composting worms in regards to anatomy.  For example:

Each worm consists of:

– A mouth, but no teeth.

– A throat, but no ears or eyes.

– A capillary system located under the worm’s skin, which acts as the worm’s lungs.

– Setae, which are small spines that are projected from the body wall by muscles and act as anchors.

These also play a role in reproduction.

– A heavy-duty digestive system, in which enormous quantities of beneficial organisms are incubated and

deposited into the soil with the castings.

– Up to 5 pairs of hearts, but no backbone.

– A body consisting of 200-400 muscular rings.

– Kidney type organs called nephridia.

– A brain. (Experiments have shown the removal of the brain causes only slight locomotive change.

Both worms with a brain, and those without, perform at essentially the   same rates. – Miriam F. Bennett)

For more information about worm anatomy and much, much more simply purchase

“Worm Farming for Beginners” – $17.97!

Generally the worms used for composting are called red worms:

Eisenia andrei/fetida or Lumbricus rubellis.

These worms are ideal for composting as they are ferocious eaters, surface dwellers

and prolific breeders.

If you hear the term “red wigglers” you know your purchasing the right type of worm.

There are other types of worms that can be used:

African night crawlers:
Eudrilus eugenia, but as the name suggests, if their not happy they WILL crawl away in the night.

Gardeners friend worms:

Amynthus gracious/corticus.

Tiger worms:
Eisenia fetida.

Perionix excavatus/spenceralia.

Garden earthworms are not suitable for composting so please leave them be in the garden

so as they may tunnel deeper down in the soil to help the garden.

To find out all the facts about the benefits of Vermiculture (Worm Farming)

check out the new book

“Worm Farming for Beginners”. – $17.97!

Have a look at the contents page to discover just what is needed to begin your

own Vermiculture endeavour!