A compost worm is always an earthworm, but an earthworm is not always a compost worm.
Confusing? please note:
In the Netherlands there are 25 to 50 species of earthworms. It is a kind of collective name. You can divide them into three main groups:
-Deep diggers or commuters
Compost worms are litter worms. They help in the digestion of the litter such as dry leaves. So you can always find them on the surface, under or between leaves, or in manure and compost heaps. Within this group there are again different species. To make it easy, they also have all kinds of other names and are difficult to distinguish from each other. You can recognize them by their reddish-brown color with yellow stripes. Hence the name tiger worm. The best known compost worms are the Eisinia Fetida and the Eisinia Hortensis. The compost worms you buy at Balkonton are a mix of these two compost worms.
The somewhat greyish light brown worm that you encounter everywhere when you put a shovel in the (healthy) bottom and let it vibrate is called the ‘common greyworms’ or ‘porrectodea calliginosa’. It digests less waste, and lives in the earth and not in the litter. It is super important for a healthy soil. Because he digs corridors and pulls the waste and excrement of the litter worms deeper into the ground. Up to about 40 cm. In the worm bin he can survive but does not really contribute much to composting. In the Balkonton Classic it is useful. The somewhat purple worm that you find everywhere in healthy gardens in the earth is a pendulum worm that digs deep passages up to the groundwater. This ‘Lubricus terrestris’ is also called ‘common rgenworm’ The passages that this worm digs are perfect tunnels for the growth, aeration, and watering of the plant roots. These deep diggers obviously have nothing to do with your worm bin. In nature they are super important.
In a healthy ecosystem, all these earthworms have an important function. Unfortunately, you encounter them less and less due to over-fertilization and the use of toxins. That is why it is so important that we switch to circular agriculture for greater biodiversity. Support the farmers in the transition and buy organic as much as possible. With this you not only help the farmers but also the worms! And ultimately the whole cycle that depends on it.