1st Edition

Vermiculture Technology Earthworms, Organic Wastes, and Environmental Management

    624 Pages 134 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    623 Pages 134 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

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    Co-edited by international earthworm expert Clive A. Edwards, Vermiculture Technology: Earthworms, Organic Wastes, and Environmental Management is the first international, comprehensive, and definitive work on how earthworms and microorganisms interact to break down organic wastes on a commercial basis. Many books cover the importance of composting for reducing the amount of organic wastes in landfills. This reference focuses on innovative vermiculture technology that turns organic waste into a value-added environmentally friendly products that can improve soil fertility and productivity on a large scale.

    Chronicles more than two decades of growth and changes in earthworm composting technology

    Based on the work of an outstanding international cast of scientists, the book explores the dramatic growth and changes in vermiculture technology since 1988 and assesses advances made in government-funded projects in the United States and United Kingdom. The contributors discuss outdoor and indoor windrows, container systems, wedge systems, and low labor-requirement, fully-automated continuous flow vermicomposting reactor systems that can process more than 1000 tons of organic wastes per reactor per annum. They also highlight the science and biology behind the use and efficacy of vermicomposting, examine its importance to developing countries, and detail the technology of the past, present, and future.

    Although the development of a range of vermicomposting technologies has been rapid and the spread of vermicomposting dramatic, the scientific literature remains scattered throughout a range of journals, newsletters, and online resources. As a compilation of information designed specifically to have an extended shelf life, this volume chronicles how vermiculture can be brought into full commercial and industrial development and find application in integrated waste management systems.

    Introduction, History, and Potential of Vermicomposting Technology, C.A. Edwards
    Relationships between Composting and Vermicomposting: Relative Values of the Products, J. Domínguez and C.A. Edwards
    Biology and Ecology of Earthworm Species used for Vermicomposting, J. Dominguez and C.A. Edwards
    Discovery and Development of New Species for Vermiculture, S. James and A. Guimarães
    The Microbiology of Vermicomposting, J. Domínguez
    Small-Scale School and Domestic Vermicomposting Systems, R.L. Sherman and M. Appelhof
    Low-Technology Vermicomposting Systems, C.A. Edwards
    Medium- and High-Technology Vermicomposting Systems, C.A. Edwards
    The Potential of Vermicomposts as Plant Growth Media for Greenhouse Crop Production, N.Q. Arancon, C.A. Edwards, K. Webster, and J. Buckerfield
    The Use of Vermicomposts as Soil Amendments for Production of Field Crops, N.Q. Arancon and C.A. Edwards
    The Production of Vermicompost Aqueous Solutions or “Teas", C. Salter and C.A. Edwards
    The Suppression of Plant Pathogens by Vermicomposts, A.L.H. Jack
    Use of Aqueous Extracts from Vermicompost (“Teas”) in Suppression of Plant Pathogens, C.A. Edwards, A.M. Askar, M.A. Vasko-Bennett, and N.Q. Arancon
    Suppression of Arthropod Pests and Plant Parasitic Nematodes by Vermicomposts and Aqueous Extracts from Vermicompost (“Teas"), C.A. Edwards, A.M. Askar, M. A. Vasko-Bennett, and N.Q. Arancon
    The Use and Effects of Aqueous Extracts from Vermicomposts (“Teas”) on Plant Growth and Yields, C.A. Edwards, A.M. Askar, M.A. Vasko-Bennett, and N.Q. Arancon
    Human Pathogen Reduction during Vermicomposting, C.A. Edwards and S. Subler
    Heavy Metals, Earthworms, and Vermicomposts, A.J. Morgan
    Quality Criteria for Vermicomposts, C.A. Edwards, S. Subler, and N.Q. Arancon
    The Commercial Potential and Economics of Vermicomposting, J. Jensen, B. Christie, and C.A. Edwards
    The Production of Earthworm Protein for Animal Feed from Organic Wastes, C.A. Edwards and A. Niederer
    The Use of Vermiculture for Land Improvement, K.R. Butt
    The Potential of Earthworms Produced from Organic Wastes in Production of Pharmaceuticals, M. Balamurugan, K. Parthasarathi, L. S. Ranganathan, and E.L. Cooper
    The Status of Vermicomposting in North America: A Rapidly Developing Technology, R.L. Sherman and P. Bogdanov
    Vermicomposting in Businesses and Institutions, R.L. Sherman
    New Developments and Insights on Vermicomposting in Spain, J. Domínguez and M. Aira
    Vermiculture and Vermicomposting in the United Kingdom, K.R. Butt and B. Williams
    Vermiculture in Australia and New Zealand: From Earthworm Production to Commercial Vermicomposting, K.A. Webster and J.C. Buckerfield
    Origins and Spread of Vermicomposting in India: Focus on Sustainable Agriculture, R. Kale
    Vermiculture in the Philippines, R.D. Guerrero, III
    The Status of Vermicomposting in Indonesia, B. Gunadi
    Vermicomposting Projects in Hong Kong, D.J. Ellery and T.C. Kai
    Vermicomposting Research and Activities in Mexico, E. Aranda-Delgado, I. Barois, M. de los Santos B., and B. Hernández-Castellanos
    The Scope of Vermiculture in Cuba, M.M. Reinés Álvarez and C. Rodríguez Aragonés
    Commercial Applications of Vermiculture in China, S. Zhenjun
    Progress in Vermicomposting in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, M. Svetlana


    Rhonda Sherman is an extension specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University providing leadership for university outreach programs on solid waste management issues through the Cooperative Extension Service. She holds degrees in Environmental Studies and Urban/Regional Planning, and Environmental Resources Analysis with an emphasis in solid waste management. Rhonda’s areas of expertise are vermicomposting, composting, recycling and waste reduction.She gives 50 presentations annually and has authored 65 publications on these topics. Considered a leading authority on vermicomposting, Rhonda has received requests for information from people in 118 countries. Rhonda organizes the world’s only annual conference on large-scale commercial vermicomposting (her 21st Annual Vermiculture Conference will be held this Fall). Her book The Worm Farmer’s Handbook: Mid- to Large-Scale Vermicomposting for Farms, Businesses, Municipalities, Schools, and Institutions was selected to receive Choice Magazine’s (American Library Association) award for Outstanding Academic Title. Winning books were selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important treatment of their subject.

    Considered a leading authority on vermicomposting, Rhonda has received requests for information from people in 118 countries. She has taught composting and vermicomposting in Guyana, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Chile, Italy, Canada, Mexico, and throughout the United States. Rhonda organizes the world’s only annual conference on large-scale commercial vermicomposting (her 20th Annual Vermiculture Conference was in 2019). People from Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, England, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Latvia, Mexico, Micronesia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, USA, and Zimbabwe have participated in this conference. Rhonda is the founder and director of a two-acre Compost Learning Lab (CL2) at NC State’s 1,500-acre Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory. The CL2 has a 40-ft by 30-ft Worm Barn, an equipment shed, and a covered teaching shelter. There are 26 types of composting and vermicomposting bins and areas for hands-on training activities.

    Rhonda has been active in local and national organizational development. She co-founded the Alliance for Integrated Resource Management (1988), Van Buren County Citizens for Recycling (1989), Source-Separated Compost & Organics Recycling Association (1993), National Backyard Composting Program (1994), and the North Carolina Composting Council (2008). She has served on the Boards of numerous associations, including the US Composting Council.

    Read more at: https://composting.ces.ncsu.edu/about-composting/