Vermiculture Field Trip

Different methods can be used to create compost. Many of our blog posts have provided details on hot (active) composting to support Actium equipment best practices. The other composting method we discussed for comparison is the slower “set it and forget” cold (passive) composting method. An additional way to decompose organic matter is through vermiculture. Vermiculture is the composting method of using worms to help break down organic matter to make vermicompost which is the mixture of worm casting and compost.

John and I wanted to learn more about practicing vermiculture, so we went on a road trip to visit Amanda – The Worm Wrangler. Amanda has earned her title as the Worm Wrangler by holding a Master’s degree in soil science and having over ten years of vermiculture experience. We visited the Worm Wrangler shop in Kitchener, Ontario, and we were given a detailed and insightful tour of the vermiculture operation. We learned that worm castings could enhance the benefits of compost. For instance, vermicompost contains the mucus generated by worms, and the mucus contains auxins. Auxins are naturally occurring and important plant hormones. Increasing the availability of auxins to plants speeds up growth and helps reduce stress. There are other benefits and interesting facts about vermiculture. To learn more, shop, or book a tour, visit

John is pleased with his newly acquired red wiggler worms, and he is gaining experience with vermiculture with his in-house setup. Vermiculture requires room temperature (12-26°C [55-88° F]) conditions which is much cooler than the temperatures required for hot composting  (40°C – 65°C (104°F – 149°F). Even so, there is an opportunity to utilize composting with vermiculture to blend the two products to create a high-quality soil amendment.