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Vol. VII No. 3

May / June 2013

Serving Soil, Mulch, Compost, & Biofuel Professionals www.SoilandMulchProducerNews.com

Attention Readers !

Are you looking for Products, Equipment or Services for your business? If so, please check out these leading companies advertised in this issue:

NEWS

Vermicomposting Creating Super Soil with Red Wigglers

Bagging Systems

Amadas Industries – pg 4 Hamer LLC – pg 19 PremierTech Chronos – pg 11

Buildings & Structures ClearSpan – pg 17

clutch parts Foley Engines – pg 14

Compost Equipment

Jack Chambers with the VermiComposters

HCL Machine Works – pg 3

Moving Floors Hallco Industries – pg 8

Mulch Coloring Equipment/Colorants Colorbiotics – pg 13

Pelletizing Systems Vecoplan Midwest – pg 6

Shredders, Grinders, Chippers & Screening Systems Allu Group Inc. – pg 12 Bandit Industries – pg 5 Doppstadt – pg 15 Morbark Inc. – pg 2 Peterson – pg 9 Premier Tech Chronos – pg 11 Rayco Mfg – pg 14 Rotochopper Inc. – pg 7 Screen Machine Inds – pg 18 Screen USA – pg 17 West Salem Machinery – pg 20

Trommel Brushes Duff Brush LLC – pg 14

Used Equipment

EarthSaver Equipment – pg 3

T

By Todd Williams

hose little earthworms that many of us put on hooks to snag a bluegill or two on a hot summer day at the farm pond may just be the saviors for our overworked and chemical ridden farmland. Jack Chambers proselytizes the benefits of vermiculture – that is earthworm farming and its end product, vermicompost – like a man on a mission. The owner of Sonoma Valley Worm Farm, Sonoma, California, gave up flying 747s to Europe to get his hands dirty wrangling Eisenia fetida, or red wigglers. The former Delta captain’s love affair with the tiny creatures began when he decided to buy a couple of gallons for his organic garden. Little did he know he and the squirmy worms would become business partners of a sort. “I went out to see a guy selling worms from his five-acre worm farm. I ended up helping him around the place and in 1992, I bought the farm when he decided to retire and go fishing,” Chambers recounts. Chambers was selling worms and their excrement (castings) that makes rich organic compost on a small scale, when he started doing

some research on worms, a difficult task in those pre-internet days, he says. ‘The more I studied worms and their relationship with soil, the more I was amazed at what worms can do for the earth. In 1994 I attended the 5th International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology at Ohio State University and learned even more,” he remembers. Chambers recalls how he was surprised at a presentation describing and showing in slides, the plant growth benefits to using vermicompost. As his worm and compost business grew, Chambers continued to meet more people with specific knowledge of soil and worms. He learned that before releasing his worms in cattle manure, pre-composting the manure was a good idea. Pre-composting, Chambers says, helps eliminate pathogens like e-coli from the stock and keeps the manure free from moles and other little critters. “At first, I just forked manure into the worm beds. But when I learned about the pathogens, I decided to do the pre-composting which led to our design and patent of a continuous vermiculture composter,” Chambers says. The first step in producing the worm castingContinued on page 3

S&mp may june '13 final  
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