Vermiponics is a novel way to grow plants that uses the nutrients from worm castings (specifically from worm-tea) to grow plants in a soil-less (or hydroponic) environment.
Vermiponics is similar to aquaponics (which is also soil-less) but instead of the nutrients being provided by fish waste that is broken down by bacteria, the nutrient solution in vermiponics is made from worm-tea instead.
Although growing without soil might seem unusual to some people - it's actually very water-efficient and can use up to 90% less water than traditional soil-based farming.
WHY GROW WITH VERMIPONICS?
We're currently experimenting with vermiponics because we think that it's more environmentally friendly than hydroponics or aquaponics.
Hydroponics requires you to purchase commercial fertilizer (which is typically mined and processed overseas and will require shipping) and aquaponics typically relies on you using store-bought fish food which is not sustainable as recent research shows that overfishing is impacting fishstocks around the world.
As vermiponics uses worm castings (that you can get from your own wormbin) we think that vermiponics is more environmentally friendly as it allows people to grow food locally and sustainably.
In terms of keeping your nutrient source (i.e. your worms or your fish) alive. Yes, we think vermiponics is easier. Worms are quite simple whereas fish are much more complex animals - which means that they are much more likely to get sick or die if the temperature, acidity or dissolved oxygen levels in the water are not quite right.
Worms can also die (if its too hot in the wormbin for instance) but generally worms can handle a much greater variation in temperature than fish can.
In terms of resources and information however there is a lot more information out there about aquaponics than vermiponics. Vermiponics is fairly new and at the moment we're working to find out as much as we can about it. We have recently sent off some worm-tea samples to UNSW to learn more about the composition of worm-tea (for more check out our blog) and will be updating our subscribers when we get the results back.
We update our newsletter subscribers regularly (no more than once a week) so to find out more about vermiponics and to download our free introduction to vermiponics eBook then subscribe to our newsletter using the form below.