We've Got All The Dirt On Worms

Aquila’s gardens, at the heart of our commitment to sustainability, thrive on the transformative power of vermiculture. ARC’s local produce farm, veld regeneration projects, and soil rejuvenation tunnels benefit from organic fertilisers made from worm compost and worm tea. Earthworms in our recycled shipping container setup diligently consume a diverse menu, including cardboard, paper, fruits, vegetables, and kitchen scraps. This eco-friendly approach helps divert organic waste from landfills, while significantly reducing the need for fossil fuels and transport costs in the waste disposal process.

What is Vermiculture?

Vermiculture is the practice of using earthworms to decompose organic waste and create nutrient-rich compost.  The excreta produced by earthworms, known as castings or worm compost, are a valuable natural fertiliser that enhances soil fertility and plant growth. The excess liquid generated during the composting process, called earthworm tea, can also be used as a nutrient supplement for sustainable farming practices.

Worming Our Way Into Organic Farming

What are the benefits of keeping worms?

The best advantage of keeping worms and implementing a vermiculture system lies in the creation of nutrient-rich compost. The diligent work of earthworms transforms leftover scraps and green waste from the kitchen and restaurant into a potent organic fertiliser, enhancing the natural soil structure while promoting optimal plant growth. Vermiculture also contributes to waste reduction and is a core component of the reserve’s waste management system, diverting organic waste materials from the entire reserve and turning them into a valuable resource. Vermiculture also fosters environmental sustainability by minimising the need for chemical fertilisers and pesticides, allowing for a harmonious balance in ARC’s gardens while promoting the growth of organic, fresh produce.

The 'Liquid Gold' of Worm Tea

The “worm tea” produced during vermiculture’s waste management and natural composting process creates a powerful liquid fertiliser, rich with beneficial microorganisms and ‘plant food’. This natural elixir nourishes plants, improves soil health, and promotes resilience—especially in the harsh Karoo environment.