Welcome to WormCycle®
WormCycle® is a Detroit, Michigan company dedicated to all things vermiculture. Here you will find worm castings, Red Wigglers, the Urban Worm Bag, and links to aspects of the growing movement to restore the balance of our soils through vermicompost.
What is WormCycle®?
WormCycle® is our brand name for what the industry calls vermicompost or vermicast. We are a Michigan company. Our name is derived from the virtuous cycle of using worms to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Where we used to eat and discard, now we know that if we add worms to the cycle we end up with a better, restored soil that produces faster growing, stronger plants.
Furthermore we eliminate modern chemicals and are able to leave the soil in a far “greener” state.
To this end, and in the interest of reusing resources that are readily and locally available, at WormCycle® we use a process to compost horse manure. This 60-90 day process “ages” the manure, removes seeds and pathogens, and releases heat energy to the point where we can then feed it to our worms. Our Red Wigglers work through the material in our indoor facility for about another 60 days.
The result is a very simple, natural product that is completely organic. Nothing is added other than what the worms provide.
What is Vermicompost?
Simply put, it's any organic material that is worked by worms and reduced to a rich soil amendment. Through a slow, natural process the material is decomposed and results in a granulated, pH neutral, odorless humus, loaded with micro-biotic life, humic acids, and growth hormones. Used as a soil amendment you can expect to see accelerated seed germination, increased growth of seedlings, early flowering and increased yields of plants. Further, there is a substantial body of scientific evidence that those same characteristics of vermicast are effective in controlling a wide variety of plant pests and diseases.
How Does Vermicompost Work?
The "cured" manure is abundant with microbial, bacterial, and fungal life. This is the stuff that the worms really like to eat. It's not so much about the material itself, but what's IN the material. The worm's gut adds to and concentrates all this life in it's own manure.
These "castings" are full of the organisms that allow the plants to uptake nutrients far more efficiently than they would without them. The beauty of all this is that the whole process is completely natural. Man-made chemical interaction is totally removed from the equation. All we do is provide the optimal conditions for the worms to work their magic and finish the WormCycle®.
Soil Benefits of Vermicompost
- Improves soil aeration
- Enriches soil with micro-organisms (adding enzymes such as phosphatase and cellulase)
- Microbial activity in worm castings is 10 to 20 times higher than in the soil and organic matter that the worm ingests
- Attracts deep-burrowing earthworms already present in the soil
- Improves water holding capacity
Plant Benefits of Vermicompost
- Biowastes conversion reduces waste flow to landfills
- Elimination of biowastes from the waste stream reduces contamination of other recyclables collected in a single bin (a common problem in communities practicing single-stream recycling)
- Creates low-skill jobs at local level
- Low capital investment and relatively simple technologies make vermicomposting practical for less-developed agricultural regions
- Helps to close the "metabolic gap" through recycling waste on-site
- Large systems often use temperature control and mechanized harvesting, however other equipment is relatively simple and does not wear out quickly
- Production reduces greenhouse gas emissions such as methane and nitric oxide (produced in landfills or incinerators when not composted or through methane harvest)
Michigan Urban Farming Initiative
MIUFI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that seeks to engage members of the Michigan community in sustainable agriculture