Creating 'Black Gold' and Saving the World

In the mid 1970's, while I was still determined to save the world, I moved to Washington, D.C. and worked for a group called 'Institute for Local Self-Reliance'. Founded in 1974 and still going strong, ILSR’s mission is to aid in the creation of ecologically sound and economically equitable communities. To that end, ILSR works with citizens and policy-makers in this pursuit. I was the horticultural staff and tended to roof top greenhouses, worm composting and assisted in writing policy papers related to urban agriculture. Ahead of my time? Unfortunately, yes, because I felt like a voice in the wilderness, especially in the Washington, DC of the 70's.........

But my time there revealed to me the answer to our society's ills: Worm composting!  

...Known also as vermiculture, it is the proverbial win-win solution for our environment.

You can conveniently dispose of kitchen waste, build up your soil and save space in your local landfill.  And best of all, you don't need a large area for compost - worms work within a bin and, because they eat the bacteria, there is no odor!

I think one of the best websites about the joys of worm composting. is Red Wriggler Ranch.  Its name comes from the red worms or composting worms (Eisenia foetida) that are used to turn organic garbage into a manure called castings. 

Worms castings are so high in nutrients that it is known as "black gold."  It is a pure organic fertilizer yet it is neutral in acidity which means it does not 'burn' plants the way fertilizer does...Worm castings added to soil or potting mix can turn it into rich humus...and best of all, kids love the worm bin!   And all gardeners should love it as well, think of worm castings as 'vitamins' for the soil...

Once you see how easy - and quick -  it is to turn vegetable peelings into rich soil you can even get more creative....why not throw the dreaded dog poo in there??  What? ok, now I am going overboard, right?  Nope...

The Pet Poo Converter is the next 'must have' after the iPod and the iPad.....maybe they should call it the 'iWorm"....

The Pet Poo Converter is a worm composting bin that recycles pet droppings into worm castings and liquid manure (compost tea). The tea is highly concentrated and can be mixed one part tea to four parts water. The unit is easy to set up and is about 24" long by 15" wide.   Roughly 1,000 Red Worms are all that is required to get started. It will handle, on average, the droppings of two medium dogs. The worm castings can be easily harvested and used anywhere in the garden or in potting mixes.

So that is my way to save the world....the answer is 'worms'.....


  1. Thanks for worms in our garden and compost pile! I've even given my garden a little head start by grinding up some of the vegetable and fruit waste and adding to some raised beds.

    So happy to have found your blog via Blotanical. Diana

  2. Thank You Di! it's all about the worms....


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