Worms Save the World....

In the mid 1970's I moved to Washington, D.C. and worked for a group called 'Institute for Local Self-Reliance'.

I was the horticultural staff and tended to roof top greenhouses, worm composting and assisted in writing policy papers related to urban agriculture. 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  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!

If you want to see the magic of worms - look at this short video ....

Worm Castings contain a highly active biological mixture of bacteria, enzymes, remnants of plant matter and animal manure. The castings are rich in water-soluble plant nutrients, and contain  50% more humus than what is normally found in topsoil. 

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. Think of worm castings as 'vitamins' for the soil...


Benefits of Worm Castings
  1. The humus in the worm castings extracts toxins and harmful fungi and bacteria from the soil. Worm Castings therefore have the ability to fight off plant diseases.
  2. The worm castings have the ability to fix heavy metals in organic waste. This prevents plants from absorbing more of these chemical compounds than they need. 
  3. Worm Castings act as a barrier to help plants grow in soil where the pH levels are too high or too low. They prevent extreme pH levels from making it impossible for plants to absorb nutrients from the soil.
  4. The humic acid in Worm Castings stimulate plant growth, even in very low concentrations. Humic acid also stimulates the development of micro flora populations in the soil.
  5. Worm Castings increase the ability of soil to retain water. The worm castings form aggregates, which are mineral clusters that withstand water erosion and compaction and also increase water retention.
  6. Worm Castings reduce the acid-forming carbon in the soil, and increase the nitrogen levels in a state that the plant can easily use. 

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


  1. Worms. I have plenty. I know this because the last two years my yard has been torn up by moles. When I asked my animal control guy why my yard is such a mess and not my neighbors' yards, he said
    that their yards were 'crap' and moles liked my nice fertile soil full of worms. Oh, lucky me. Happy New Year.

    1. Oh my, Denise - the downside of worms. Now to figure out the mole problem. reminds me of Caddyshack, the movie...shades of Bill Murray.

  2. Thanks for this information! I've never thought about worms as a vitamin for the soil. I am going to start tilling my backyard for a garden, and have been really concerned about the nutrients in the ground. I might have to go buy some worms, and hope that they can enrich the soil a little bit before I actually plant.

    1. Hi Ella! Nature has figured it all out - we just have to follow her lead. :-)

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