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Students explore the world of worms

<p>University of Hawaii -Hilo undergraduate Yuri Zhurau demonstrates worm migration to Waimea Middle School students. (PHOTO COURTESY OF WMS FOR NHN)</p>

University of Hawaii -Hilo undergraduate Yuri Zhurau demonstrates worm migration to Waimea Middle School students. (PHOTO COURTESY OF WMS FOR NHN)

<p>Mala’ai Garden Teacher Holly Sargeant-Green examines worms with Waimea Middle School students. (PHOTO COURTESY OF WMS FOR NHN)</p>

Mala’ai Garden Teacher Holly Sargeant-Green examines worms with Waimea Middle School students. (PHOTO COURTESY OF WMS FOR NHN)

Vermiculture – aka worm composting – involves allowing worms to consume scraps or fruits and vegetables and even newspapers and similar paper products and turning them into “black gold” (compost material) and “worm tea” (a very strong liquid fertilizer that must be diluted.) For gardeners, these by-products are better than any store-bought fertilizer for growing beautiful vegetables, herbs and flowers. The worms are amazing creatures, full of micro-organisms and made up of an elaborate muscular system that enables them both to digest slimy scraps and also to “crawl” up from one level in a vertical worm condominium to the next level – chasing food, and leaving behind compost. UH-Hilo undergraduate Yuri Zhurau introduced Waimea Middle School students to the world of worms during science teacher Jade Bowman’s classes last week, and this Saturday, March 16, he will join one of America’s noted worm experts, Norman Arancon from the University of Hawaii -Hilo in presenting a worm composting workshop from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Mala’ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School. The workshop is free and everyone welcome but an RSVP is requested to alethea@malaai.org. This is the second of four workshops presented this spring by Mala’ai in partnership with the Richard Smart Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation. The workshop will be in Mala’ai garden and participants should bring weather protection as it may be chilly or damp. For more information, contact Alethea Lai at 989-7861.