August 28th, 2017
The Worm Man BLOG
Hi everyone !
Wow it’s been a SUPER busy month here.
This BLOG post details my college Training & Assessment qualification progress, a brief overview of where I am taking the qualification and my latest worm farming lesson at a school.
I have now completed all the course work for the Training & Assessment qualification here in Australia. (yeeha !! 😀 )
This qualifies me to teach Horticulture to the level that I personally attain myself (currently “Cert 3”).
It has also allowed me to develop worm farming courses and lessons as part of my course work.
At a later date I may be able to partner with a registered training organization to develop worm farming courses for the accredited national Vocational Education & Training sector.
In the shorter term, I am teaching the lessons I developed about worm farming at garden clubs and have just started teaching at schools (and am qualified to teach at early learning centres/child cares and the like).
I am just waiting on my ACTUAL certificate – it will be really nice when that arrives 🙂
Blue Card For Working With Kids (And Positive Notice Letter)
I applied for, and now have, the all-important Blue Card for working with kids. This is necessary in Australia for working around any kids, whether in a school, child care or even the boy scouts etc.
It was a pretty painless thing to do, just some forms and waiting 30 days for it to all go through. And paying for it of course 😀
School Science Fair Project & Worm Farming Lesson:
Recently, I helped a school teacher figure out a science fair project with her class.
This poor teacher, Ms Harris, rang me looking for “earthworms” for her students to do a project on, for a science fair.
She told me that her students wanted to enter the science fair. They had to do a project on a living organism; and they had to have something to change in the organisms environment, against a control, to show a difference in that organisms growth – and it had to be all finished in 4 weeks !!
After talking to the lady, I asked for some time to think things through.
What I created for the students was a system using African Night Crawlers (Eudrilus euginae).
I would supply 4 lots of 50 small worms, the buckets to house the worms in, the bedding mix and the foods.
The Environmental Change – The Food:
The environmental change would be the food they were given. This is what I thought up:
One bucket (the “control”) would only have new bedding materials. The worms wouldnt die or anything – after all I know customers who buy worms from me in the small buckets and keep them for 4 to 8 weeks quite easily and they will just eat the bedding.
One bucket would have my special “coffee mix” that I spoke about in a recent blog post. Read about that here if you want:
One would have the grain that we feed to our worms on occasion – “mill run” it is called. Riverina defines it as “Millrun is a by-product from the milling of wheat for flour production. Millrun is the most common by-product of flour manufacturing available for livestock feeding. It consists of the bran, aleurone, germ and pollard fractions.”
The last of the four buckets would have fruit and vegetable scraps in it. I DID blend these (though I often recommend NOT to blend worm food) – as they needed access to the food quickly and they wouldn’t get the time to pocket feed as I normally teach, with “whole” scraps.
The Worm Farm Type: Larry Hall Style Buckets:
I got together some 2.5 gallon/10 litre “Larry Hall Style Buckets” for the students to use. I collected all of the food and bedding materials and a lot of my other props that I take to lessons (cocoons, different worm species, handouts etc etc etc).
You can see how to make one of these Larry Hall style buckets here:
How Quickly Did I Organize All This?
Luckily I had already applied for my “Blue Card” to go do a lesson at another school here soon. Blue card is the working with children positive notice checking system we have here. And QUITE luckily I got an email a day after I first talked to Ms Harris notifying me I had passed the check and my documents were in the post. So armed with that and my proof of application and payment of the license fee, Ms Harris was able to have me present at the school.
I got over to their school 2 days later – talk about quick service, hey ?
So, I went and got the students all setup with their 4 worm farms, doing an informal lesson on worms and worm farming along the way. BOY those kids had some good questions too !
The Measuring Process:
We decided it would be best for them to take an average of the length of the worms and the weight of the worms in each batch.
The students separated 15 worms from each batch and measured their length to get an average.
Then we weighed each batch. We got roughly 15 to 16 grams for each batch of 50 worms.
By comparison, I can get the same worms to about 2 grams each in 2 to 4 weeks. So there is a lot of weight for the worms to put on in the 4 weeks of their project. They could come out at 100 grams to even 150 grams for each batch.
A Nice Letter Of Appreciation:
The school kindly did me up a letter of appreciation. If you want to look at it, you can find that on my website here:
Training In The Future
Now that I have officially finished my college course in “Training & Assessment” I plan on doing a lot more of these worm farming lessons.
I’ve now been contacted by ANOTHER gardening club in the area, so I will be going out again soon !
I also have another school booked in for possibly October/November.
Anyway I better go do some other work.
More posts coming soon on the Vermicomposting Planter Project (with Bentley Christie), updates on the wedge systems and other stuff around the worm farm here.
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If you want to get SERIOUS about Worm Farming – OR thinking of starting a worm business?
Do you want to produce a LOT of VC – getting more SERIOUS about worm farming?
Maybe you’ve thought about getting into business with worms?
I REALLY advise you to go check out the Worm Farming Alliance.
There you can get all the mentoring, training and information that you need. Check it out here: