Vermiponics

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Vermiponics is a soil-less growing technique that combines hydroponics with vermiculture by utilizing diluted wormbin leachate ("worm tea") as the nutrient solution[1] as opposed to the use of fish waste (as used in aquaponics) or the addition of manufactured chemicals to provide the nutrients.

In 2008, Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan was using vermiponics as part of its efforts to reduce waste.[2] Aquaponics growers have noted previously that redworms can be added to aquaponic grow beds successfully and serve useful functions in aquaponic systems. This has led several people to experiment with nutrient solutions that are based on wormbin leachate alone, for instance in a Central Queensland University trial.[3] The effectiveness of vermiponics compared to hydroponics and aquaponics has not been thoroughly studied however a paper from the University of Arizona has found that using wormtea has beneficial effects on root protrusion in lettuce seedlings when compared to inorganic fertilizer.[4]

As hydroponics is based on feeding plants inorganic fertilizer and as many aquaponic growers use commercial fish feed, it has been suggested that vermiponics is a more sustainable method of food production as worm castings can be used from local food waste rather than mined fertilizer or sea caught fish.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shlrene Quaik; Rajeev Pratap Singh & Mahamad Hakimi Ibrahim (2014), "Growth Impact, Photosynthetic Pigments and Heavy Metals Content of Coleus aromaticus: A Vermiponic Approach" (PDF), Journal of Sustainability Science and Management, 9 (1): 49–55 
  2. ^ Jeff Kart (May 8, 2008). "SVSU reducing its food, paper waste with garbage-eating, compost-making worms". Booth Newspapers. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Brett R. Roe & David J. Midmore (2008), "Sustainable Aquaponics", Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses 
  4. ^ Asher Haug‐Baltzell, The Suitability of Worm Castings & Compost Tea in Organic Hydroponic Lettuce Propagation (PDF), retrieved 29 November 2015