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Vermicomposters unite!

Someone saw my film of setting up a vermicomposting bin, and sent me a link to - it's a Google Map-type thing, with entries for vermicomposters all around the world. Our entry (one of three in Malaysia) is here.

Wherever you are, check it out - some of them offer worms for free, and can help you out.

Yesterday, there was a community event in our neighbourhood, and WW volunteered us to have a small stand to give some information about composting and vermicomposting. So, along with her mother, we set up a table with a small demonstration. We showed the film I made once, and also a couple of very simple and short presentations to give an introduction: for normal composting, dan ada juga di Bahasa Malaysia untuk vermikompos.
vermicomposting stall Kelana Jaya SS4

There was quite a lot of interest (more than I expected to be honest), and we managed to convince everyone that composting does not smell! Honestly! :-) The thing is, you mustn't put any animal products in your compost or worm bin, and then the worst you get is some fruit flies if you don't cover it up properly. We also found out that popular way to do composting here is to dig a hole in the ground, chuck stuff in and cover it up; then it's just left to decompose. It's OK as a method, but it means you can't really spread your compost around your garden wherever you want it to go. And, of course, vermicomposting speeds it all up and gives you much better quality fertiliser.

Another thing which puts people off is having to buy worms - the price at the moment is about RM400-450 a kilo. Actually, you don't need a full kilo to start, but the minimum purchase for us was one kilo - so the thing to do is split the cost with someone, 200 or 250g are enough to get started. And remember that they will breed and grow the colony by themselves - all you have to do is feed them with what you were going to throw away!

WW and her mother got the worms at the Serdang UPM campus - the Taman Pertanian Universiti. They have a big set-up there, producing worms and fertiliser on a big scale. The basic business model is to use organic waste to produce fertiliser, and also to sell worms - as they breed quite quickly too.
Taman Pertanian Universiti vermicomposting harvest, cacing vermikompos

There's a company called 'Agro Bio-Tani (Kelantan) Sdn. Bhd. which has received some interest in the national press. - the telephone number is 09 747 7539 or 013 935 5539. You may also be able to get some worms from FRIM too, but I'm not so sure about that, call them up if you're going to try.

You can order a booklet produced by the Jabatan Pertanian here.
These blogs seem to have good information about vermicomposting, but they are in BM so I don't know the details:
Ternakan Cacing Tanah | Penghasilan Baja Organik
Ternakan Cacing Vermikompos

**Update 21 October 2008**
There's a Malaysian company, Eastern Agro Centre, who seem to be into larger scale production of vermicompost and selling worms.
and more (29/10/08) The Worm Man

Worms & Vermicomposting

One thing I’ve definitely learnt so far is that a blog needs regular updating, and doing good posts takes time.

And I always want to do things in detail, so I put off doing posts because I’m missing some small factor.

Anyway, the full post is not complete, but here’s a film on how to prepare a vermicompost bin :-)