< Back To Zero Carbon Cumbria

Farm to Fork Stories

Alpacaly Ever After

Who:

Emma and Terry

Where:

Cocklakes House, Penrith CA11 0SG

What:

Vermiculture, monitoring food waste, community growing space

Key Low Carbon Aspect:

MSO Farming

About Alpacaly Ever After

Alpacaly Ever After is a social enterprise that rehomes alpacas and llamas from all over the country and gives them a wonderful new home with the very best of care, whilst bringing people in touch with the landscape and the natural world through outstanding alpaca and llama experiences, their sites are accessible to all.

With a Basecamp that boasts an amazing farm café and shop and a beautiful new community growing space to provide organic supplies to the cafe, they are an ideal site to demonstrate food waste composting, utilising the power of Alpaca dung and worms, increasing the reach of “Vermiculture Cumbria” to farmers, growers and enterprise.

They reached out to CAfS for help with bringing their vision to life.

Coming Soon! Look out for a video of the workshop on Alpacally’s Youtube channel

Focus:

Alpacally Ever After have been monitoring their food waste over time and their average daily waste is 17kg. They hope to reduce their CO2e by using vermiculture for all their kitchen waste.

17kg of food waste / day equates roughly to 32.3kg of Co2-e emissions or the equivalent of 2.88 days of electricity consumption for one household.

We are working with Anna de la Vega, who set up The Urban Worm CIC, Anna is a vermiculture expert with years of international experience delivering training and consultancy on vermiculture food waste solutions to tackle this huge global issue.

Sign up for and read back issues of The New Worm Order Newsletter here: Newsletter Archive – The Urban Worm

Composting

Some food waste stats

  • Food waste emits the greenhouse gases (GHG) methane and nitrous oxide that are 31 and 310 times stronger than carbon dioxide, respectively.
  • According to WRAP the UK produces 9.52 million tonnes of food waste and emits 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG) every year, equalling 5.5% of our total national emissions.
  • Worm farming can reduce GHG emissions by significantly reducing the volume of food waste directed to landfill, and in turn alleviates the necessity for fossil fuel-powered collection vehicles.
  • The consumable food we waste costs the UK £19 billion which adds up to £284 for every single person in the country.
  • The hospitality sector alone tosses £3.2 billion of food away each year.
  • Households alone bin £13.8 billion worth of edible food each year

Vermiculture

Vermiculture is the practice of raising worms specifically for their use in making compost. Cumbria Action for Sustainability have been busy round the county with new vermiculture projects- read on for more.

In spring 2024, The Urban Worm CIC and CAfS installed a vermicomposter and trained staff at Westmorland’s Tebay North Services. The Westmorland family are doing everything they can to reduce their food waste across all of their café sites and service stations and they are keen to find ways to both reduce their waste while supporting growers and farmers produce food sustainably.

We were joined at both sites by Garden Organic | Cumbria Master Composters, The Cumbria Master Composters spend time promoting home composting in their local community, encouraging householders to take up composting and ensuring those already composting do so effectively. It was great to have their support.

Here in Cumbria we are piloting “Vermi-Economy”. A circular, sustainable system that can be scaled up – how does it work?

    • Farm Manure Windrows – Address pre-farmgate waste by providing a diversification income for Cumbrian farmers while improving soil quality and reducing the reliance on costly inorganic fertilisers.

    • Vermicomposting units – Reduce hospitality food waste by developing closed loop composting systems at food retail outlets. Vermiculture can be an easy solution to reducing food waste, with the potential to generate an income and cut waste disposal costs and emissions.
    • Distribute the surplus the vermicompost and liquid feed goes back to farms, growing outlets and community gardens.

Ready to start your own project?

There is funding for advice and consultancy time to SME businesses within Cumbria who are interested in vermiculture as a way to reduce their food waste and carbon emissions.

Get in touch with CAfS

Find out more about Alpacaly Ever After

Where can I find out more about Low Carbon practices?

The Low Carbon Food Programme in Cumbria have put together a handy list of external resources designed to help you learn and achieve your reduced carbon culinary goals. From tips to tables, facts to farming networks, we have compiled Videos, podcasts and web links to help.

You may also like