A Watershed Moment: Anybody Want Some Worms?

Worms naturally produce the healthiest humus for plants.

On today’s episode we hear from Luke Malski of Reformation Growers as he explains how vermicomposting benefits our food and soil.

Vermicomposting is a process that allows worms to turn food scraps and other decomposable foods into nutrient rich soil, right under a kitchen sink. Worm bins come in a few different styles and can fit anywhere in a home, porch or yard. WMEAC  began vermicomposting in early February, you can find our worms in an office closet.

Reformation Growers uses vermicomposted dirt for potting soil to grow herbs, lettuce and other various plants which they sell locally at the Fulton Street Farmers Market and Nourish Organic Market.

Vermicomposting is not a new process. Worms are decomposers and have always kept the earth’s soil healthy and nutrient rich. But with the rise of commercial fertilizers, worms are often deprived of their natural ability to create nutrient rich, black humus. Food enthusiasts and farmers like Luke often distrust big business fertilizers because of petroleum usage and a low-quality end product. Rather than buying into big business fertilizers, Malski trusts the decomposing experts, “Worm castings are the best fertilizers you can get. You can make it yourself and they are available locally,” says Luke.

Vermicomposting is quickly growing in popularity as more people seek nutritious foods and understand that worms are better decomposers than people with machines and chemicals. “The best foods that you can grow comes from good quality soil, and good quality soil comes from good quality compost,” emphasizes Luke.

In addition to selling produce, Reformation Growers also sells worms for vermicomposting bins. Worms can be bought directly from Luke, or from Treehuggers in Eastown.

Listen to this episode of A Watershed Moment here

A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life.  Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30am and 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media  Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

0 replies
  1. Robert J York
    Robert J York says:

    I compost as often as possible at both of my home sites. It is so easy to do; you can start with just a pile of leaves, grass cuttings, and some food scrapes. The worms will find your pile soon enough. Just turn the pile occasionaly with a shovel or fork to get some air into the pile and you are composting!

    As a senior citizen of 68 years, I enjoy the exercise and feel close to the earth when I compost.

  2. Ryan
    Ryan says:

    My comment relates to the caption in the above picture “Worms naturally produce the healthiest humus for plants.” That is true when you are talking about artificial environments such as agriculture and gardens but that is not the case in areas that developed earthworm-free since the last iceage(not a single earthworm is native in this region)…those plants developed with decomposers such as fungi and bacteria, which are much slower at converting the organic material into a form usable by plants…when you introduce earthworms into these formally earthworm-free environments they do their job and they do it well(and they fundamentally change the soil structure and composition)…but that doesn’t always work out well for the native flora and fauna…to learn more about the potential effects non-native earthworms are having in the formally glaciated regions of North America go to the Great Lakes Worm Watch website at greatlakeswormwatch.org and to read the current research on the issue go to http://www.nrri.umn.edu/worms/research/publications.html.

    I would like to clarify that the vermicomposting method described by Luke from Reformation Growers sound like a very low risk vermicomposting method for the introduction of non-native earthworms into the environment.


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