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.
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:45 PM EST2013-12-11 00:45:37 GMT
"Today I am proud to launch Connect Vermont, an initiative to deliver by 2013 my promise of high-speed internet access and cell service to every corner of our state," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont,More >>
In a few weeks, Gov. Peter Shumlin will become the second Vermont governor to fall short on a pledge to bring cellphone and high-speed internet access to every Vermonter that wants it. What's the next step to connect the state? More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 8:00 PM EST2013-12-11 01:00:14 GMT
Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, has been re-elected as the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. The DGA held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Monday, where the governor was uncontestedMore >>
Vt. Gov. Peter Shumlin has been re-elected as the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:48 PM EST2013-12-11 00:48:09 GMT
Vermonters who didn't pay ticket prices of up to $10,000 to hear New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speak during an upcoming visit likely won't get to hear him via the media.More >>
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will make a stop in Vermont Wednesday to address nearly 700 Republican Party members. The Essex Jct. event is sold out, but there aren't any media outlets on the guest list. Melissa Howell explains why.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:51 PM EST2013-12-11 00:51:05 GMT
When Vermont received an F from the Center For Public Integrity for financial disclosure requirements for state Supreme Court justices, it didn't ruffle too many feathers. "We weren't surprised by theMore >>
Vermont was one of many states that received a failing grade for what is required for financial disclosure for state Supreme Court justices. Some civil rights organizations say it's just a small part of an even bigger problem for the state.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 11:41 AM EST2013-12-10 16:41:55 GMT
St. Albans police are on the hunt for an armed robber who targeted a convenience store. Police say at about 9:45 p.m. Monday, a man entered the South Main Grocery and displayed a weapon. He left the storeMore >>
St. Albans police are on the hunt for an armed robber who targeted a convenience store.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 3:28 PM EST2013-12-10 20:28:00 GMT
Fast food and quick cash? Police say a couple targeted McDonald's in Morrisville Monday night. Investigators say David McNab, 25, and Anna Gilchrist, 23, tried to rob the restaurant at about 9 p.m. TheirMore >>
Police say a man and woman face tried to rob the McDonald's in Morrisville Monday night.More >>