Vermicompost & Compost tea: Benefits and Technology of On-farm Use

Vermicompost is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter and waste products by using some species of earthworm in a controlled environment. It is a nutrient-rich, natural fertilizer for a variety of applications from transplant potting medium to soil amendment and injection to foliar feeding. High quality vermicompost also contains viable earthworm cocoons that will grow into mature earthworms. Earthworms have various important roles in the soil ecosystem that contribute to crop productivity and quality, such as soil structure, water movement, nutrient dynamics, and plant growth.

  Larry Heiny, Black Star Organic Products   Larry Heiny is the Regional Manager for Black Star Organic Products, a vermicompost farm near Gainesville, Florida. He has worked as a project coordinator with Dr Robert Kluson of UF/IFAS Extension in Sarasota County for the past four years on programs involving farmers markets, community gardens, urban farming, local food systems, agroecological awareness, and sustainability in food desert communities. Now a small organic farmer in North Sarasota, his ongoing educational mission is to expand Community Awareness of organic systems, soil health and bio-diversity. Larry studied Architectural Design at the University of Florida and completed Urban Agriculture Certificate Courses through the UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County.

Larry Heiny, Black Star Organic Products

Larry Heiny is the Regional Manager for Black Star Organic Products, a vermicompost farm near Gainesville, Florida. He has worked as a project coordinator with Dr Robert Kluson of UF/IFAS Extension in Sarasota County for the past four years on programs involving farmers markets, community gardens, urban farming, local food systems, agroecological awareness, and sustainability in food desert communities. Now a small organic farmer in North Sarasota, his ongoing educational mission is to expand Community Awareness of organic systems, soil health and bio-diversity. Larry studied Architectural Design at the University of Florida and completed Urban Agriculture Certificate Courses through the UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County.

  Carl Frost, Kai-Kai Farm   Carl Frost is currently property manager and co-founder of the 40-acre Kai-Kai Farm in Martin County Florida. He began selling fresh produce in 2006 and has added agritourism products such as farm-to-table dinners, weddings and concerts into the farm's product mix. In 2003 Carl directed engineers who custom designed Kai-Kai Farm's surface water infrastructure to the highest environmental standards. The vegetable farm, a former citrus grove, incorporates soil amendments such as cover crops, manure, wood chips, compost, worm castings and worm tea which is brewed on-site. Previously Carl owned a property management company whose clients included high rise condominiums. Carl holds a bachelor of science in general horticulture from the University of Florida and a bachelor of business finance from the University of Texas.

Carl Frost, Kai-Kai Farm

Carl Frost is currently property manager and co-founder of the 40-acre Kai-Kai Farm in Martin County Florida. He began selling fresh produce in 2006 and has added agritourism products such as farm-to-table dinners, weddings and concerts into the farm's product mix. In 2003 Carl directed engineers who custom designed Kai-Kai Farm's surface water infrastructure to the highest environmental standards. The vegetable farm, a former citrus grove, incorporates soil amendments such as cover crops, manure, wood chips, compost, worm castings and worm tea which is brewed on-site. Previously Carl owned a property management company whose clients included high rise condominiums. Carl holds a bachelor of science in general horticulture from the University of Florida and a bachelor of business finance from the University of Texas.