28September2022

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Impact of the Decision To Leave the EU

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The Worm is Turning for Cork Farmers

The Celtic Worm Company Ltd has been set up by West Cork farmers as a way of increasing their earning capacity through diversification at a time when the farming community is under considerable strain. After three exceptionally bad years, the company offers local farmers a viable means of increasing employment opportunities and increasing revenue.

The Celtic Worm Company produces natural fertilisers and bio-stimulant plant feed and peat-free composts by using specially bred, uniquely cultivated strains of tiger worms that have been developed over the past eight years. The process of "vermiculture" transforms farmyard waste into a product that nourishes soil and re-stimulates the essential life underground. This is in the form of beneficial mychorizzas and nematodes that create a vast network that provide everything plants and crops need for ultimate health and resilience as well as an increased yield.

The "Celtic Gold" range of natural wormcast products are eco-friendly, sustainable and above all, great for the garden and the farm. Tests done at UCC show that the addition of wormcast to plants produces up to 100% greater yield, stronger root growth and an increase of up to 20% in chlorophyll levels. This means that the crops and plants grown in "Celtic Gold" are stronger, healthier and produce more fruit or beautiful blooms. Further tests in UCC have shown 100% germination in seeds sown in "Celtic Gold". The key to the success is what the company has dubbed "the humble yet mighty worm." The Celtic Worm Company Ltd. are now developing to an industrial scale to expand the wormeries and manufacture the Celtic Gold range.

Television and radio gardening personality Peter Dowdall used the range of products during 2012 in the gardens at Dunsland and he was delighted with the results. Peter is urging local gardeners to use these products as "because of the wormcast element to these feeds and soil conditioners they are among the best to have ever hit the marketplace on a commercial scale. The results of using these products in your garden are dramatic with all plants, shrubs, hedges, trees and even lawns benefiting. Using wormcasts is like putting a spoon of live yogurt into the soil, it stimulates the beneficial microbes already in the soil and because the worm castings are high in microbial life they convert nutrients already present in the soil into plant available forms. The fact that we are supporting the local farming community by using these products is a hugely important factor, but first and foremost as a gardener, these products improve the garden." Dan, worm farmer and CEO is equally positive, "We already have commitment from over 20 garden centres

in the Cork area to stock our product next year. They have all been very supportive of a local company that will be a success story in the hard times. Our product "Celtic Gold" is unique and gives plants so much more than other composts that it can even be added to tired old bags of compost from previous years to make them a suitable growing medium again."

The benefits of Wormcasts in the soil are numerous:

  • Suppress fungal diseases
  • Reduce algae in greenhouses and ponds – no nitrogen run-off
  • Reduced need for irrigation
  • Increased drought resistance
  • No ground water contamination
  • Improve crumb structure of soil
  • Environmentally safe
  • Improved soil structure and aeration
  • Contains over 60 micro nutrients and trace elements
  • Odourless

The uses of worm casts are equally numerous:

  • Commercial vegetable production
  • Lawns and Turf Grass
  • Topdressing house plant soil
  • Vegetable Gardening
  • Custom potting mixes
  • Shrubs and Trees
  • Bedding plants
  • Herbaceous and Perennials
  • Hedges
  • Golf Courses

As well as an abundance of available nutrients, worm castings also provide a perfect mix of nutritional needs. This allows plants to feed as needed for weeks and months at time, depending on the plant. Another point in favour of earthworm castings is the high concentration of beneficial bacteria and microbes added to them by the earthworm in the digestive process. These microscopic creatures help different elements of the soil work in conjunction with each other to create healthy, working soil that provides the best possible atmosphere for optimum growth.

Synthetic fertilizers usually provide only synthetic nutrients, much of which is quickly lost into the soil with watering, as a plant's root system can only absorb so much at once. Chemical fertilizers are most often detrimental to soil microbiology bypassing and often destroying much of its beneficial microbial and bacterial activity

Yet, another benefit is the ability to improve soil structure, which promotes rapid plant growth. It also allows for excellent drainage in soil so roots don't become waterlogged or develop root rot, while also increasing the soil's water retention capacity as they contain absorbent organic matter that holds only the necessary amounts of water needed by the roots and their shape allows unnecessary water to easily drain.

Earth Worm Castings are also an effective way to repel white flies, aphids and spider mites & any pest that feeds on plant juices. According to recent studies, applying earthworm castings to the soil around your plants increases the production of a certain enzyme that is offensive to these insects. One way to use worm castings is to topdress the soil with a 1/2 inch to 1 inch layer. When you water, the nutrients filter down to the roots of your plants.

Source: HortiTrends News Room