Most people use their basement for things like laundry or storage, but Melissa Jordan finds another use -- harvesting worm manure.
"They're taking stuff that would fill our landfills and turning it into a useable product," said Jordan, who owns Wormpost Vermont, a small company whose workers are worms. They turn garbage into poop; she calls it castings or gardeners gold. "Eisenia fetida -- and here they are. They're small worms. They're a red worm -- little babies," she said.
Jordan says it's better than compost. There's no dirt involved, just the worm manure. "It's poop with un-digested pieces of organic material," Jordan said.
You mix it in with soil to prevent fungal diseases and retain moisture. It also helps prevent transplant shock. Jordan has one species of premier composting worms. There's almost 1,000 worms per pound, which eat their way through things like paper bedding and food waste. "Actually taking in material and pressing it through their intestines and comes out the other end and its their poop, but its like humus," she said.
Coffee grinds give this wormy world a kick. "They just go crazy and so it accelerates the decomposition process," she said.
Jordan has always loved composting and worms, so this was the perfect combo. "You look at this and it's just so sensual," she said.
It takes months to get a full bag of worm poop. Once the worms decompose the mixture and are done eating, Jordan sifts it to separate the poop, the worms and whatever is left over. She encourages the worms to do their business, even singing them songs.
Because worm poop isn't a well known product, Jordan only sells about a hundred bags a year. $7.95 will get you a quart. $17.95 for a gallon. It might be a bargain for all this dirty work.
Jordan is turning these worms business, into a growing Vermont business. "I call it black gold, but it's brown gold I guess," she said.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:45 AM EDT2013-05-22 13:45:46 GMT
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