A Little More “Real World” Inspiration

Cornell researcher and RWC community friend, Allison Jack, recently pointed me in the direction of a cool editorial entitled, “How can you miss 58 Million worms?”. This seems to be “real world” vermi-inspiration week here at RWC (haha), so Allison’s timing couldn’t have been better!

The author, Patrick Burke, provides commentary regarding the failure of New York State government to acknowledge two high-potential waste management strategies (large-scale vermicomposting being one of them) in its recent “plan for economic growth and job creation”. Needless to say, I totally agree with Mr. Burke’s assessment, and was very inspired by some of the figures he quoted.

Here is a blurb:

The largest vermicomposting facility in the Western Hemisphere is located in the FLR. It produces 2.5MM pounds of the highest grade certified organic compost annually, with an estimated value of $5MM-$7MM (yes, the compost is more valuable than the fluid milk). It has been recognized by the USDA and by the horticulture scientist at Cornell as the leading form of organic compost which also suppresses harmful plant pathogens leading to the elimination of chemical pesticides.

Be sure to check out the full article here: How can you miss 58 Million worms?

In case you are wondering…the “largest vermicomposting facility in the Western Hemisphere” is owned by Worm Power.


On a semi-related note – here is an excellent video that Allison put together highlighting the benefits of vermicompost. I’ve posted it here before, but I’m sure a fair number of you have not yet seen it.

Thanks again, Allison!

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    • John Duffy
    • November 25, 2011

    It is incredible to think that the vermicompost is more valuable than than the milk…If we have to rely on the politicians to make “obvious” choices as to what needs to happen next, we are up the creek without a paddle.
    I think we need to approach some venture capitalists and do an “end-run” around the political pundits in order to fully develop this resource. The venture capitalists have enough money & political clout to make it happen. Try to get the EPA & local workforce development organizations involved and just maybe, huge worm farms could soon become a much needed reality.
    Thank you Bentley & Allison for sharing this information. It just reaffirms my faith in green solutions and keeps me preaching the worm gospel message.

    • Daniel Herrington
    • November 25, 2011

    Sounds like what I went through with the city of Hamilton here in Canada. People just sometimes don’t understand worms. Hell, even Darwin spoke of them in his works.

    • James Marconnet
    • November 25, 2011

    Interesting info and video.

    Sounds to me like I should buy some commercial potting soil this coming spring and mix in about 10% screened vermicompost, or compost, as I have it available. Not so much for nutrients, if 10% is the optimum mix, but for the protective bacteria therein.

  1. Thanks for posting Bentley!

    I’m not sure how accurate the economic projections in this blog post are, I would love to see an economic analysis of this technology now that folks are doing it at a large scale and accessing markets in commercial horticulture. Tom and I did a back of the envelope calculation for our first grant proposal together and came up with the “manure is worth more than the milk” concept in 2007. Depending on current milk prices, vermicomposted manure can actually be worth more on a pound for pound basis.

    Seems like it would be a logical choice to investigate as a green technology for areas with a high concentration of dairies. Unfortunately it’s hard to shake vermicompost’s reputation as a “cute” way to process wastes on the household scale. We’ll all keep working on that!

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