From Garbage to Garden (2011)

Ricky, one of APC’s dormers, fills the compost bed with organic materials.

A group of elementary school children staying at the dormitory in Bendum are managing a series of vermicompost beds.

Marzon Limbago, an OJT (On-the-job training) student from the Bukidnon State University (BSU) who is also a resident of Bendum, assists these children in setting up the vermiculture.

When we are feeding thirty people in the house, we generate a lot of vegetable waste along with other biodegradable material that has to be disposed well or soon we’ll have a mound of wastes out at the back.  Composting is the most obvious approach wherein we have to be well organized so as not to attract vermin.  We do this by mixing the waste with materials gathered from the garden, animal dung, and earthworms collected from previous compost beds. Vermiculture is an artificial rearing of earthworms.  The worms used in Bendum are known as the African Nightcrawler, which are different from the local species.

The rate of decomposition and multiplication of worms is fast. The benefits are significant, if this practice is optimized.  Earthworms convert kitchen waste, paper and other organic material into valuable compost that improves soil and land use practice.  Letting the earthworms decompose and recycle our organic wastes saves the children from turning over the compost to keep it aerated for many months.

The areas around the house are also ‘free’ from organic wastes and this keeps the environment healthy.  With the significant amount of earthworms produced, added value may be optimized for animal food and not just a supply for the occasional fishing line.

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