The Farmers Will Save Us

By Anna de la Vega

Anyone who has had the pleasure of reading Kristin Ohlson’s wonderfully inspiring book The Soil Will Save Us will understand firstly that there is hope – reversing catastrophic climate change is possible; and secondly that ultimately it is the farmers that hold the power to save us: the ‘stewards’ of the soil.

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Worms & Peace

By Anna de la Vega

The history of synthetic fertiliser is laden with suffering, its invention prolonged wars, and it is responsible for the destruction of the living soil that sustains us. In the first of a two-part article, Anna explores the relationship between the development of synthetic agrochemicals and the history of modern warfare: war on humanity, and war on all living organisms. We will have no world to speak of if we continue to dishonour and poison the land and those that work upon her.

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Productivity & Prosperity

By Anna de la Vega

Whilst western governments, and especially the UK, have neglected to make themselves aware or even recognise the potential of vermiculture as a significant contributor to food security and soil health the government of the Philippines is going so far as to financially supporting the industry. Anna recently visited the South East Asian archipelago to discover that whilst the government of the Philippines is not without its criticisms, when it comes to worm farming there can be no question of its commitment to the development of regenerative farming practices.

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¡Viva La Lombricultura!

By Anna de la Vega

Cuba’s worm farming revolution is not as well known as her political one. Often heralded as a nation that has already survived a peak oil crisis, by necessity Cuba has come to be known as a global leader in the organic movement. Worm farming played a key role in that remarkable story. Whilst undertaking my Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship in 2016, Cuba was naturally the number one destination to explore, representing the possibilities and ability of a nation to thrive in the face of adversity with a little help from the humble but mighty earthworm.

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What Is Worm Farming?

By Anna de la Vega

Worm farming, otherwise known as vermiculture (vermis from the Latin for worm) is the process of harnessing earthworms to convert organic waste into the world’s most nutrient-rich fertiliser; worm manure. Worm manure – also worm castings or vermicompost – is teeming with minerals, nutrients and beneficial micro-organisms essential for healthy plant growth, root development and disease suppression. Due to the nutritional superiority of worm manure, farmers and gardeners often refer to it as ‘Black Gold’, with one tablespoon enough to feed a small plant for three months.

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The Good Life In Cuba

By Anna de la Vega

Jose Casimiro, the legend of permaculture in Cuba, has created a blueprint for low impact self sufficiency, and naturally he has lots of worms. Founded upon the principles of cooperation, community and care for the land, the 24 acre farm located a few miles from Sancti Spiritus provides a powerful insight into the potential for off grid living, the importance of integrated systems and the ability of the sacred earthworm, with the help of the sacred cow, to regenerate the land.

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School of Worms

By Anna de la Vega

Teaching our children the value of the earth, and thus the earthworm, could never be more vital. Earthworms are the best teachers, and the integration of worm farms into education serves not only as a tool for curriculum enrichment, it connects our children to the cycle of life, where our food comes from, and more vitally the practicalities of worm husbandry. At one school in the UK, school dinners come from homegrown produce fed with manure from their own worm farms.

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Artisan Zoo Doo

By Anna de la Vega

Zoos in the UK should be cashing in on the ‘zoo doo’ and harnessing the power of the earthworm. A zoo is the organic gardener and worm farmer’s dream, supplying a steady mountain of nutrient-rich exotic manure, and Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo is cashing in on the custom.

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All Power to the Worm

By Anna de la Vega

The humble yet mighty powerful earthworm has never quite received the due respect, recognition and adoration it so deserves, until now.  Darwin heralded the earthworm with the upmost importance and famously said “worms are more powerful than the African Elephant and are more important to the economy than the cow” – much to the amusement of his peers, receiving both criticism and acclaim for his work.

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Making Earth from the Inside

By Anna de la Vega

The penitentiary system in the United of States of America is famously questionable for it dubious relationship with corporations and the exploitation of free labour. However, The Worm Farm inside Monroe Correctional Facility in Washington State is exemplary of the potential for prisons to serve the community whilst providing rehabilitation and meaningful activity. Anna visited with the inmates in 2017 and describes the inspirational enterprise in rehabilitation and restoration through the power of the worm.

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