I was invited to visit the Maine State Prison to see their large scale vermiculture project. The inmates, with the help of VTI Mendes and the support of the warden and Captain Fries, have established a vermicompsting system. They purchased a large (I'd estimate 6'x8') raised bed system that harvests vermicompost by scraping (cutting) from below. It is housed in a daylight basement in one of the buildings and accepts select food waste from the prison kitchen. Everyone involved should be commended for their work (the worms were reproducing without any smell or fruit flies). The project is being carefully monitored and maintained and the dozen or so inmates I met have a very good understanding of vermiculture (they had obviously done some reading!) and asked great questions. They have been working on the system for a little over a year and it is ready to harvest vermicompost. They plan to use some of their vermicompost in their own greenhouse and gardens, but hope to also sell some at the Maine State Prison store. After seeing their work, I suspect they will have an excellent product.
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Vermicomposting and beyond! Check out what I've been up to on my blog.