Any gardener worth his or her salt will tell you that growing the best possible crops begins with dark, healthy soil. Composting by recycling organic household waste can produce such nutrient-rich soil.
Lori Shreier and James Warren of Fertile Fields Farm in Westmoreland, NH, offer gardeners the means to create their own compost, with the help of earthworms. Vermiculture is the simple and effective process where worms digest organic matter and turn it into what James describes as a nutritious and stable-type of compost (vermicast). Mixed with the soil, it enhances the beneficial nutrients needed for successful gardening. A major advantage of composting with earthworms is that gardeners can compost in a small space, inside and outside, year-round.
“Composting worms are different from other earthworms,” James says. Fertile Fields Farm chose the red wiggler, a type of red worm best suited for the composting process. Their red wigglers sell for $14.00 per half-pound and $25.00 per pound. Fertile Fields also sells their own vermicast, as a soil amendment for potting soil and house plants.
“We can custom-make a worm box, too,” James says. “The worm box keeps the worms in a confined area to feed them.”
Now in their 5th year, James and Lori have developed a diverse list of offerings. Fertile Fields Farm also offers CSAs (all certified organic produce), classroom workshops (they’re hoping to add more workshops on gardening and small-scale farming), provides internships, and offers scheduled farm-composting tours for local school groups. Fertile Fields Farm also sells at the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market.
Composting supports a sustainable lifestyle. Call or visit the Fertile Fields Farm website at http://www.fertilefieldsfarm.com for more information on vermiculture.
Other vermiculture sources:
PO Box 387
Henniker, NH 03242