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Earthworms’ Roles in Biodynamic Farming
Biodynamic farming emphasizes interrelationship among soil, plants, and animals. Natural inhabitants of soil could be of great use to farming. This is what earthworms are all about. Usually, people are scared and disgusted to see earthworms. It is time everyone realizes how such crawling creatures can help bring about higher productivity and fertility of the soil.
Earthworms are not just useful especially to agriculture. If you would know the creatures better, you will note that they are more interesting than they initially seem. There are more fascinating facts and trivial information about these crawling organisms. Here are some of those interesting facts:
• The average life span of earthworms, depending on species, is about four to eight years. That is on the assumption that environmental or surrounding conditions of the creatures are conducive and ideal for their survival. If the environment gets less conducive, of course, earthworms could perish. Worms are not able to survive freezing temperatures as well as too much sunlight. That is why they are thriving in the dark through the burrows they create on the soil. Some earthworms are even referred to as night crawlers because they tend to go out at night when three is no sunlight.
• There are more than 3,000 different species of earthworms. Anecic worms burrow through the soil and surface to the soil at night to get some food and drag it down to their permanent homes beneath the topsoil. Endogeic worms have shallower burrows and are feeding on organic matters already abundant in the soil. Epigeic worms are those feeding on litter and decaying organic matters. They do not own permanent burrows but they keep on doing such diggings. Epigeic worms are the types used for artificial cultivation of vermiculture.
• Worms, especially the vermiculture types, also have needs to survive further and reproduce better. Among the basic necessities of worms are adequate food, aeration, a 70% to 90% moisture content and ideal temperatures of about 15°C to 30°C.
• Vermiculture is the process or technology of raising, reproducing and maintaining earthworms artificially. Vermiculture is also a scientific and organized process because materials used are specific and processes are strict. Vermiculture pits should are always protected from direct light from the sun and are always kept moist. Protection from predators like rats, birds and ants are also ascertained.
• You can actually artificially raise earthworms. It just can be a tedious process. If you need worms for your crops, plantations or orchards, you can always easily secure and buy some by the kilos at vermiculture centers and businesses in your community.
Earthworms are important to biodynamic farming. Farmers should acknowledge this fact. The next time you see one in your garden, do not put it off or kill it. Be thankful for its presence. Naturally, earthworms are nature’s gift to the soil, where plants grow. Get rid of pests, but not of earthworms. You should also look at other biodynamic farming techniques that are available.
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