Worm Farming

One of the pages I follow on . They are doing interesting things with school field trips

Phoenix couple tries to live off the grid with some 400,000 worms and sustainability in mind


"When Zach and Nancy Brooks want to get away for the weekend, they head to their Phoenix farmhouse near South Mountain Park and Preserve and the couple’s 400,000 worms.

"The Brooks own Arizona Worm Farm, a 10-acre swath of land that the two have converted from fields of cotton to an operation that thrives on food waste and an unending passion for sustainability."

Maybe Earthworms Aren’t So Great For Soil After All

Earthworms are often portrayed as beneficial to the environment, but in North America’s temperate forests, they are a disaster in action.

"When Europeans arrived in the Northeast in the seventeenth century, they found a forested landscape devoid of earthworms. This was because the last ice age’s glaciers scraped away the topsoil and everything it contained. 10,000 years after the ice’s retreat, soils and forests had built up without worms. While worms were moving north to colonize the now ice-free regions, they moved slowly. They hadn’t gotten as far as the northern temperate forests.

"The Europeans, however, bought earthworms with them (in soils used as ballast, for instance). Since then these worms have spread across the formerly glaciated Northeast and upper Midwest. Add to these the Asian worm species introduced since, often for purposes of fishing bait, and you have a woodland disaster in the making."

alice's picture

Earthworms are definitely encouraged by gardeners here in England. Earthworms do also have a specific benefit in that many kinds form 'stones' of calcium carbonate inside themselves which are deposited into soil. So if I remember right they are taking carbon dioxide from the air and fixing it into a stone which is fairly stable in soil. So perhaps can be seen as part of Mam Gaia's response to high carbon. I am sure that doesn't help much if you are seeing a beloved biome in the middle of a radical shift caused by earthworms.

David Trammel's picture

The Atlantic has an article about earthworms, and the ones in the forests too.

Cancel Earthworms - The “crazy worms” remaking forests aren’t your friendly neighborhood garden worms. Then again, those aren’t so great either.

Very informative on both historical context and for what forests will be like across America next century.