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By Norma Raspeño
"The planet does not belong to us
Are we just part of it?
Surely the most complex problem with the greatest impact on human beings and that humanity must face in the short term, is the restoration of ecological balance and its subsequent maintenance.
All this within a framework of progress based on an authentic sustainable development that does not compromise the future.
Basic concepts of recycling, vermiculture, fertilization and small-scale natural crops can be developed in a practical way from the school and family environment.
This was the main objective to develop our ecological house.
In the school environment we can, in its small dimensions, have a complete vision of the rearing of worms, from the moment the eggs hatch to their adulthood. It also allows us to carry out investigations of the different components of the waste and their evolution in decomposition. How to prepare them, to give us the guidelines of how it will be if we take them to open spaces where recycling is carried out at a higher level.
It is possible to comfortably test the humus with which we want to experiment, and examine the result on the plants in situ.
In the family environment, the house can be located, in the laundry room or balcony. There the children and their families will be able to produce vermicompost in small quantities with their household waste for the maintenance of their plants.
Today he no longer discusses the importance of the actions of the earthworm, although among us it has not passed the stage of popular curiosity and amazement at its recycling capacity.
An incipient professional research is taking her to academic environments, prioritizing the activity of Vermiculture, which in its apparent ease of small-scale tillage, has denatured its potential capacity to recycle large volumes of waste, only manageable in an industrial project, supported by biological sciences and modern technology.
In the course of history, various manifestations tell us about the worm. From the Egyptians, whose famous fertility of the Nile Valley was due to the action of worms, considered sacred to them.
Aristotle also considered them intestines of the earth and Darwin made a deep study, summarized in his? Formation of topsoil by the action of worms? , recognizing that no other animal has played such an important role in the history of the world.
Currently, the fertilizing capacity of a farmland can be measured according to the amount of worms per unit area.
It is recognized that they constitute the first animal biomass on earth and probably more than 50% of the total mass of animals in Europe, averaging 0.5 to 2 Tn / Ha.
It is considered that in a good pasture, more earthworm meat coexists underground than cattle grazing on the surface.
Animal Kingdom; annelid type; oligochaete class; lombricidae family; genus Eisenia Foetida; commonly called Californian Red Worm.
This is the result of studies and selection developed in the USA since 1959, where they achieved the characteristics of being able to be bred in captivity and in free places, within certain habitat conditions.
Earthworms are invertebrates, annelids. They are moved by contractions of your rings and muscles. They have both vertical and horizontal mobility.
They live underground and special cells located throughout their body warn them of the presence of light, which is their mortal enemy. Ultraviolet rays kill it in a few minutes.
Earthworms are anatomically simple organisms and are very well adapted to their environment. Its slimy body needs to stay cool and wet to survive. The coelomatic liquid eliminated through the dorsal pores is used to keep the body moist and in favorable conditions.
Its coloration varies with age. They are white at birth, pinkish at ten days, reddish when adult, reaching sexual maturity at three months, having a length of 6 to 8 cm at this point in life. And a diameter of 3 to 5 mm.
Hermaphrodites of reciprocal fertilization that takes place between two worms. Each one lays an olive-green grape seed-shaped egg, from which seven to twenty young hatch.
Its reproductive capacity in geometric proportion during its 15 years of life under favorable conditions is amazing.
From the moment of birth the worms are self-sufficient; They eat alone and they only need to live that the substrate where they are found is moist and tender enough to be pierced by their tiny mouth.
The adult red worm weighs one gram and every day ingests an amount of food equivalent to its weight, excreting almost 60% of it in the form of humus. The remainder is assimilated and metabolized for sustenance.
They do not hear, but they perceive vibrations. It breathes through the skin and has no teeth.
It has 5 pairs of hearts and 5 livers. To eat the worm sucks the food through its mouth; When it reaches your stomach, glands are responsible for secreting calcium carbonate, the purpose of which is to neutralize the acids present in the ingested food.
As a result of this, the removed humus has a neutral PH, with all its benefits as fertilizer and phytosanitary for crops
THE HOME OF THE WORMS
Returning to our ecological house, it has been created not only evaluating a pleasing shape to the eye, but also with the idea of creating a sense of home with its shape.
In Europe and especially in the USA, these tasks of Vermiculture are already incorporated into the school curriculum of several States, as a matter of practical activity and several Universities are studied with all the scientific technology available, all the potential that Vermiculture has as very next future solution to the problem of residues and crops, fundamentally in the recovery of depressed soils.
The house is built with non-polluting industrial lags, subjected to a temperature and pressing process. It is composed of aluminum, cardboard and polyethylene, not having any phenolic or chemical agent in its composition.
This material has very low thermal conductivity that makes it very thermal and acoustic insulator, favoring the development of worms.
It is ideal for not being altered by humidity, since it is waterproof. Another benefit is its low igneous spread.
It is designed to achieve the greatest comfort for handling.
It is rectangular in shape and the sliding trays are supported on its internal sides. On one of its faces there are two windows not only to give it the shape of a house, but also to allow us to see how the transformation of waste into humus takes place. The worms will not be seen because they flee from the light.
The bottom tray is where the humus produced by the worms falls; In the second, the bulk of worms was placed with the food already processed and in the upper one, the residues of food, preferably crushed as much as possible, and organic residues of different origin, always with the smallest possible granulometry, are thrown away, to favor the work of the worms .
The house is completed with a lid in the form of a gabled roof and in one of them a fireplace that, in addition to giving it the appearance of a house, serves to incorporate the water for the internal irrigation of the material.
As we see, in a small space we will be every day in the presence of the miraculous laboratory of Nature.