Vermicomposting Featured in the New York Times!

One of my big dreams has always been to see vermicomposting go “mainstream” (and of course to help the process along in any way I can). Well, I don’t think we’re quite there yet (lol), but I must say it’s pretty awesome to see an article on vermicomposting in the New York Times! Thanks very much to Patrick J. for the heads-up on this one – it’s called “Worms Produce Another Kind of Gold for Growers” and was published on December 31st (online – it says the same article appeared in the print version on Jan 1st) and – not too surprisingly – both Sonoma Valley Worm Farm and Worm Power are featured prominently.

Here is a blurb:

Some experts and entrepreneurs hope earthworms can also help with another problem: the growing piles of animal waste from dairy farms and other agricultural operations.

Worm Power, a company in Avon, N.Y., transforms 10 million pounds of manure from a single dairy herd each year — about 40 percent of the cattle’s output — into 2.5 million pounds of vermicompost. Tom Herlihy, a former municipal waste engineer who founded the company in 2003, says it has raised more than $6 million in venture capital and $2 million in grants for research, much of it at Cornell University.

Here in Northern California, Mr. Chambers’s Sonoma Valley Worm Farm produces about half a million pounds of similar compost, an amount he plans to increase in the spring. He loads a long metal bin with cow manure and 300,000 to 400,000 Eisenia fetida, or red wigglers — weighing 300 to 400 pounds. In their wake, the worms leave cattle waste that has been processed into rich and crumbly castings that look like fine peat moss.

Be sure check out the full article here: “Worms Produce Another Kind of Gold for Growers

This is exciting stuff! Can’t wait to see where things go from here!

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    • GA
    • January 8, 2013

    Ever seen any articles on worms being used to treat sewage sludge?

  1. Thanks for posting this Bentley! The interviews were in November, so I was on pins and needles waiting for it to come out. It has been some great publicity for the research field/industry.

    After it came out I did a follow up blog post with videos and photos from my 7 year collaboration with Worm Power in case folks wanted to learn more about our project.

    • Bentley
    • January 11, 2013

    As mentioned on another post, it’s great to see you posting here again Allison! Also great to see you with your own blog! Thanks for sharing the link!

    GA – there has been lots of research on worms being used to treat sewage sludge, and even some large-scale real world trials. There was a sewage plant in PA that used worms for a while there but I seem to recall it discontinuing the vermicomposting (I suspect Allison might know a lot more about that one that me – wink wink)

    HENRY – thanks for the additional link!

    Exciting times I tell ya!

  2. Wow that’s all such cool stuff guys! I’ve gotten my whole neighborhood into vermicomposting and now I’ve got some new neighbors and they want to garden and grow worms, so I’m going to spread some around!

    It’s really exciting to see the community getting involved and being aware! As always, you can stop by my blog anytime. I get a lot of traffic from this site and I always recommend people check out red worm composting for the plethora of info. Take care all!

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