How to Grow Red Worms that Eat Garbage and Make the Best Fertilizer


Alright! This is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com
today we have another very exciting episode for you. I am here in Chicago, Illinois and I’m at
a cool place and no, it’s not a farm you can see behind me. They are not like really growing stuff here. Well actually, they are growing something
in here. They are growing worms and making worm castings,
an essential element for you guys’ farm or home garden. So, I’m here today to share with you guys
what they are doing and they are doing something amazing that every municipality, every city,
every state, everywhere in the country should be doing what they are doing here, in this
yard, I don’t know, West 48th Street here in Chicago and they are turning food scraps
and things from the waste stream that will normally get put into the landfill. Rot, create methane, gas and which really
not serve, you know, the purpose of feeding the earth back. It just rots, it’s just a waste when things
have to go to the landfills. So I’m really glad that they are diverting,
uh, food waste here and what they get delivered here in, you know, big sacks that are all
delivered actually by bicycles which is, uh, super cool. The sacks have things like coffee, you know,
beans, residuals after they press out the coffee and then they also have things like
food scraps in some of the plastic bags there that they get from different farms, grocery
stores and restaurants. Over on this side, they got a bunch of five-gallon
buckets. The five-gallon buckets, they collect from
different, you know, people. Well, they don’t actually collect them,
they have haulers that collect them and then they drop them off here and people basically
put their food waste in there and then they come here and get composted, not necessarily
composted. The worms eat them…the worms don’t even
eat them. Well you will learn more about that in a minute. They basically give that…they feed it to
the worms and then they make, you know, the worms have babies because they are nice and
happy. Then, the worms also make the worm castings
which is one of the best nutrients that you guys should be adding to your gardens. You guys should definitely be having your
own worms in the garden to make castings right there in your garden beds. You don’t need to keep adding the castings,
I mean, garden beds, you just actually add a few worms in the beginning and provided
you have a good system and you are not, you know, putting chemical fertilizers and all
this crap to kill your worms and if you give them enough water and food source, which is
like compost, worms love to eat compost or food scraps, they are going to multiply. Then at some point, like, you are going to
dig in your soil like, “I knew it” and you are going to feel bad, “Oh My God! I just cut a worm up in half when I’m planting
my [?]transplants” because they are so many worms in there, right. That’s a good problem to have, to have overabundance
of worms and worm eggs, you know, this kind of stuff. But I know a lot of you guys are new gardeners
so you guys got to start somewhere so, you know, the place you should start, maybe even
order some worms from Nature’s Little Recyclers and we are going to go ahead and go into the
yard today and show you guys the process that it goes through from food to worms to how
they grow them indoors year round, here in Chicago even when there is snow on the ground
outside, in the winter time and how they grow even in the summer time. They grow indoors and also outside. In the summer, they convert, you know, because
it can get too hot in the building for the worms, they get up for the right temperature,
they grow outside. So yeah, let’s go ahead and take you on
this journey of how they actually grow worms and worm castings here at Nature’s Little
Recyclers. Alright, so they got this big huge fence and
let’s see if I can open this up. I got to pull. Alright, come on inside. So, the first thing I have learnt about having
a worm farm, that is really cool, is that all your feed stock you are feeding your worms
are free or can be free because it is unfortunate that some worm farms use Purina worm chow
to feed their worms. Such thing is a travesty, is a waste. That stuff should not even be sold because
they are so many things going to the landfill that they are rescuing and you can feed your
worms for free without having to buy worm chow to feed your worms and make Purina a
rich company. Anyways, I don’t advocate you guys eating
any kind of processed foods, whether that’s for your worms, you know, for your pets, Purina
dog foods or processed foods for you. I want you guys to eat real foods like they
are feeding the worms. Now, I don’t know that I necessarily, you
know, eat this stuff right here, the coffee grounds maybe if I was starving. It’s priceless nutrients in there, it actually
smells quite good but they get things like coffee grounds and, you know, in these bags
here. I don’t know what they got, let’s see. All they use are these bio-degradable plastics
bags. Oh, they got some egg shells in here and they
got all these shreds and these, uh, little sticks here and whatever, these stems. These looks like stems of like collard greens
or kale. Maybe, there is a kale chip factory that’s
stripping these and then use them to cook with and they strip these off and then they
come here to feed the worms. So, you know, the feed stock is free and they
don’t have to keep buying this. So this is super-intelligent. Actually, one of the owners here started selling
worms when I think when he was a teenager. He picked up a book, you know, “Start a
worm farm and make money” or something like that, right. And you guys can do this too, start one of
these up, if you guys-, wherever you guys live in the world except in Chicago because
they are doing it here. No wait! If you are in Chicago, do it too because,
guess what, there are so much extra trash and waste going to the landfill. These are needed like multiple companies like
these in every single city around the country so that we can take things like coffee grounds
and food scraps out of the whole landfill system. And then, guess what, you get free inputs
to feed the worms and then, guess what, you get to grow the worms, sell the worms. You can sell the worm eggs. You can also sell their castings. Or better yet, use them for your own garden
or farm and you can set this up as a side business, right. So yeah, really cool. So this is just one of the feed sources they
get from more industrial suppliers like coffee, you know, by the big huge bag, the grounds
and all the food scraps but they also, you know, work with some local delivery companies
that actual pick up the compost from people and they deliver that here. So let me go ahead and show you guys some
of that food stock they get for the worms in the five-gallon buckets over yonder. Alright, so now I’m sitting amongst all
these five-gallon buckets. Five-gallon buckets are great resource and
unfortunately also go to the landfill, you know. Check with local delis or bakeries, they get
a lot of goods shipped in these buckets to the, you know, to the delis whether that’s
pickles or olives or to the bakeries, whether that’s like some kind of crazy, nasty whipped
cream and all these frostings that I don’t recommend you guys to eat, or fruit compote,
fillings with like all kind of artificial stuff in there. And I’ll tell you, I got some buckets from
the bakery and had to wash them out. Man! That stuff didn’t wash out and it’s like,
man, people eat this stuff and I could barely get it washed out just in my shower like with
just water like it just wouldn’t dissolve. What happens when you eat that stuff? I don’t even want to know. But anyways, they got a lot of buckets here
and in the buckets, basically once again they got the bio-degradable bags and they just
collect these from households and people. They got all kind of different stuff in here. I should open this up. It smells kind of like it’s been fermented
a little bit and inside here, we got, you know, a piece of carrot…Hey man! These are good pieces of carrots, man. They should have juiced these. I don’t know what they had thought about
feeding them to the worms and it looks like they got pieces of onions in there. I mean, every one is a little bit different. They might have lemons in some. Let’s see what’s in this side. Oh look at this, they got cilantro in there. Oh, they shouldn’t have this little tag
on there. No, this is Italian parsley, sorry. That’s pretty much well used. Oh, they got celery in here. They got some celery. This might have been good celery but right
now, this is good worm food, right. Check it out, in nature there is no such thing
as waste. I challenge you to challenge me on that. Find some waste in nature. If it is not made by man, if it is not made
out of plastic, right, everything is bio-degradable and is returned to the earth. Even us, right. And I want you guys to think about this and
do more to return things you use on your farm or in your garden and return it to the earth
or feed it to the worms and check this out, you know, even man-made polystyrene or whatever
that stuff is, the foam-packing material, right, they found out that mealworms can even
digest that stuff, right. Nature is incredible, it’s only when we
get involved and start, like you know, making plastics and do all these things that are
not necessarily directly at the nature, do we create waste. So I want you guys to, you know, focus on
using more natural products in your lives, whether it is in your garden or especially
in your home and try to shy away from plastics. I know we can’t get away from plastics completely
because plastics make it possible but they can serve us in a useful way where we are
reusing buckets, you know, and reusing and reusing. I use them to collect compost in my personal
kitchen that I take out to my compost tumblers, right, and I collect, you know, harvest things
into the bucket, right and I cut down my plants and I put those in the bucket to take to my
composters. There are so many uses of the five-gallon
buckets and I want to encourage you guys to get some, you know, and divert them from the
landfills and use them and reuse them in your garden until they burst up in the UV sun after
a couple of years, right. I really did a video actually, one of my favorite
videos I made, believe it or not, I made it like five, six years ago that made me use
a five-gallon bucket. I’ll put a link down below if I remember
that. Check that out, I definitely had a fun time
making it and even this day, I remember that video. It’s one of my all-time favorites, so yeah,
check it out. Anyway, as you guys can see, they got, like,
so much food to feed the worms. They got some like backlog here so anyways,
let’s go ahead in next and show you guys how they grow the worms or actually, how they
used to grow the worms, how they grow the worms now and I have got the whole process. Let’s go ahead and share with you inside
the worm farm inside the building. So now we are inside the building of Nature’s
Little Recyclers and in the winter, spring, fall, this is the perfect environment to be
growing worms. They are not growing food; they are growing
worms. Well, it might be food for some different
fish and creatures that like to eat worms. Birds, they love worms. But they are growing the worms in here and,
you know, you got to have the right temperature, the right moisture level and there are experts
in knowing all this stuff because they have been doing this for a long time. And how it is, is that it’s not even that
expensive to keep worms. Well, they are using these plastic totes. These have definitely been around the block
or two a few times. And, you know, they have put some holes in
there for some aeration and, you know, some drainage so that it’s not too moist in there
for the worms and they just basically put all the different inputs that you guys saw
into these bins and then they put worms in there and the worms eat the garbage or the
food scraps and all the input materials that they are getting for free. Now, here is the thing that you probably never
heard before, right. The worms don’t really eat the food. “What John? How does that work? You put the food in there, the worms eat it,
it comes out their rear end and make some, you know, worm castings.” That’s not exactly it. I mean, we might eat food and you might think
we digest it and it comes out of our other end. But, believe it or not, inside us, we have
beneficial microbes or our microbiomes. Things like lactobacillus and other beneficial
bacteria and they help us digest our food, right. Much like the worms. The worms don’t really digest. They got no teeth to even break up stuff. They eat the food particles…they don’t
even eat the food particles. The bacteria break down the food particles
and then the worms eat all that stuff, right and in the worm’s gut, they could actually
digest… the bacteria digest the food particles and the worm absorbs that. So yeah, the worms don’t directly eat it. They have a whole host of microbiome that
help them do that. Check this out, just like in our poop, when
we poop, right, our poop when we poop it out, it’s mostly bacteria and when the worms
make the worm castings, it’s also mostly bacteria and other beneficial organisms, right. These are the very organisms that are going
to help, you know, bring in and create more fertility to your soil by adding, you know,
a whole host of different organisms that are going to go into your soil and actually break
down the organic matter in your soils and make that available for the plants. That’s the reason why worm castings are
so important. Now, this is the first way they were doing
this and one time they have like five hundred of these bins and you guys can get one of
these bins at Home Depot or Walmart and keep your own worms. It’s super simple, super easy. I’m not going to get into how to do that
specifically. There are plenty YouTube videos on doing that
but you guys can easily do that. But they had some challenges with it, you
know, doing it this way in a large commercial system so they got to something even better
than this. So let me go ahead and show you guys that
next. So the new container they are using to grow
their worms are these guys, they are actually called max crates or something like that and
basically, if you ever go to, you know, buy apples at the grocery store, you might see
one of these guys with all the apples or almonds in there. They buy these brand new and they also get
some that are being reused from the recycling industry when these no longer have a good
purpose or life in whatever they are used for in the beginning. They just simply take these and because they
are a lot larger, they don’t need to have as many plus these are stackable. They can stack these up to ten how they usually
stack them and be like three high and they modified this and made it even better than
just what it is. Basically what they did, they took a drill
and they drilled some holes on here, they drilled some dredge in here and they put some
holes on the side and put some PVC that run all the way through the crate and what it
does is they perforated it, they put holes in the PVC tubes. So this adds extra aeration into, you know,
into the bin there so the worms can have a little bit more aeration but is also important
for the first step of feeding the worms. So they don’t just instantly take one of
these guys with all the tubes and stuff and put all the food scraps in there and they
put the worms in. No, no, no… they have to go through a thermophilic
step first, you know, for it to be, I guess, the law and also, you know, it prevents pathogens
and also the other thing it does is that it breaks down some of the matter and start composting
it and it creates more bacteria and breaks up the cell walls for the worms so that it
actually makes a better worm food right for them. So next they fill this up with their mixtures
that they are getting outside including this stuff in this bag here which is actually called
coffee bean chaff and they mix up appropriate mixture including some cardboard and what
not and so they have like a really very food source. They mix it up and basically they let this
thermophilic composter to compost for a few days or a couple weeks or whatever and they
hook about here, blowers to these pipes and then they blow air through there. So this encourages the compost to happen faster. Once they got it up to a hot temperature and
it cools down, then and only then, will they actually put the worms in there. So now, the compost is broken down a little
bit and the worms really go to town and like it a lot more than just raw food scraps, right. Then, they feed the worms and after that,
they harvest it, right. That’s how simple this system is to make
and then, you know, if you have appropriate levels of water which they only maybe water
once a month. Depending if they have wet food scraps, they
don’t even need to add water to this system. They have a mixture of different things and
it’s just super sustainable when they are getting free feed stock to feed the worms,
right. Most gardens or whatever, maybe you are making
your own compost and stuff and all people may bring in input from the outside, right. This is super-intelligent because it diverts
waste that will normally go into the landfills. I guess the next step that I want to show
you guys is once they got all this, they sift these stuff out to make the worm castings
that they sell to gardeners all over the country and also people can pick up in the local area
and yeah, so let’s go ahead and show you guys how they sift out this stuff after it
has been in there for a good long time and the worms have digested. So the next thing I want to share with you
guys, actually how they stacked those bins. You guys can see they got these bins stacked
up three tall. The top two bins actually have the worms and
the bottom bin collects all the leachate, or that is, the liquid that runs off and out
of these bins. So some people might call that worm tea but
that’s not worm tea, let’s not get these, you know, um, terminologies confused. That is basically the leachate or the worm
pee, alright. Worm pee, worm tea, they rhyme but they are
not the same thing. You know, this is different than the aerated
worm compost tea that I will show you guys in a minute. This stuff it may be good for your garden. Some gardeners say it’s not good for your
garden. My personal opinion on the leachate is you
want to take the leachate you want to dilute it down. Yes. Adding it back to the soil is just yet another
way to get organic matter and further nutrients back into the soil. That’s one of the best ways you guys could
use the leachate. But whatever you do, don’t call it a compost
tea, because of my opinion, it’s not. So once the worms eat the food, you know,
and go through the whole bedding material, they take the bedding material and they put
it into this device right here, which is a sifter or sorter and I’m going to actually
demonstrate it right here. They are going to make me put this stuff like
right here and throw it in there. Oh! There are worms, I see worms crawling around. Then what happens is that they press this
button on the back and what’s happening now is that this thing shakes and there are
two sets of this. This first section has small holes. So this catches all the worm castings and
then they ship out to people around the country. And next, [?]as they go, as they go down. Then over on this area, what happens is that
they have larger holes. So this area is designed to catch all the
worm eggs which they use in how they keep their breeding stock up so that they can have
more babies to sell to you guys. And then the final section, the big chunks
just fall of the front which then they rotate them back in and refeed the worms. That’s pretty much how simple what is, you
know, sort out all the worm castings in specially designed screens that does this all for them. Let me go ahead and turn this guy off. I think I need one of this guys to sift all
my compost, maybe I’ll have like a little bit bigger holes than what they got here but
this thing is really cool. Next, we are going to show you guys after
they sift this stuff out, they have the castings, they have the big stuff that they throw back
in. Then what they are going to do is pick out
and select the worms they get to ship out to you guys. So let’s go to the area they have setup
where they actually, you know, select out and ship worms. So after they sift out the worm and the castings
that you guys saw, they are left with a few things, right. They are left with this right here, which
is a hundred percent, mostly pure worm castings which is basically the worm poop. This stuff is rich and biologically active
and the main reason why I like these worm castings compared to many other ones is because
of what they are feeding their worms, right. We are only as healthy as the food we eat. Your dog is only as healthy as the food he
eats and the worms are only as healthy and the castings are only as good as the food
they are eating. So, I don’t necessarily like worms that
are been fed Purina worm chow or manure or GMO corn or any kind of these things. I like what they are using here. They are using a wide variety of fruits and
vegetable scraps and cardboard, coffee grounds and actually, you know, they get egg shells
in and even, like, you know, bones and all these crazy things, mixed diverse food source. This is what we want for us. When you hear diversity, as good as kale is,
don’t just eat kale all day. You want to eat kale, collard, spinach, lettuce,
arugula, you know, radicchio, [xx], [xx], lovages, spinach. You want to eat all the different things and
have a diverse diet. That’s what they are really doing to the
worms here and that’s why I like these castings. These are really nice castings and when you
get a casting, you should be able to smell it and it shouldn’t smell bad. If your casting smells bad, then you have
some big problems. They should have a neutral smell and they
should look nice, rich dark and black just like these ones right here. So you know, uh, they are left with the castings
like one bucket of these guys which are worth the weight in gold for your garden and then
there have left a bunch more of the larger material that, you know, they feed in and
feed back into the worms. So once they get the finished worm castings,
they can actually ship out the worm castings to you or they can create a value added product
with the worm castings and I also encourage you guys to do what you want with your worm
castings. What they do is that they got this big huge
vortex brewery here and then they compost tea out of it or, you know what, casting tea,
right. This is not the same as the leachate or the
liquid that comes out of the worm dens, right. This is totally different because this is
aerobic. They bubble this up and they brew it up and
the bacteria multiply then sell this in the local area and use it on the farms that they
work with to help, you know, re-establish bacterial and fungal colonies in the soil
so that the soil can be more productive. You guys can do this too but the problem with
compost tea is that you got to use it or lose it. So you bubble it for about twenty-four hours
and then you want to spread it out immediately, you don’t want to let it sit because the
colony count will actually go down if you don’t bubble it enough or if you bubble
it too long. Be sure to click a link down below if I remember
to put the link in the video down below to an open-source compost tea recipe that uses,
you know, predominantly worm castings as one of the sources to increase the biological
activity of your garden. So now what I want to do is I want to share
with you guys actually how they screen out the worms and select them to ship to you. It is a very intelligent process. You know, a lot of worm sellers may just use
a rotating tumbler that sorts out the worms and when you do that, you might get damaged
worms. And, you know, when you get the box, you open
it up, it kind of smells funky that’s because some of the worms didn’t make it and their
bodies are decomposing. It’s like…it’s gross, right. So I’m glad they actually hand select and
ship out the worms to you and check out how they do this. This is super-smart. They are using nature, you know, or worms’
natural tendencies to their advantage so that they can harvest them. In these, we got these heat lamps. It’s actually quite hot. I’m glad I don’t work in here eight hours
a day sorting worms. But what they do is heat up the top of the
soil. So what’s this like? This is like the sun coming down and heating
the earth and when that happens, the worms don’t want to be out in the sun. They don’t like sun-bathing like all these
ladies in Hawaii and stuff, right. They want to be under the ground where it’s
like nice and cool and they are collected, you know, and chill out underneath the ground. They don’t want to be in the sun because
they will dry up, right. Yeah, we have all seen those shoveled-up worms. It’s sad when you see those shoveled-up
worms, right. So what happens is that the worms have a natural
tendency when it’s hot on the surface of the soil, they are going to burrow down. So then all the worms burrow to the bottom
and then they basically scoop out the stuff from the top, scoop it to the side and then
they harvest the stuff on the bottom and…Wow! Look at this, man! This is where the worms are. Look at that, they are like tons of worms
here. I don’t know if you guys can see them in
the bottom there. This is what then they put in the bags to
ship to you guys and how they pack it is really cool because, you know, unlike a lot of places
where they use a lot of plastic, you know, they are trying to do things as sustainable
and renewable as possible. And everything they ship you except for the
plastic tape that’s covering on the box, you can compost or you can feed back to your
worms including the cardboard that should be shredded. Actually, inside the box they use newspaper
from the local area. They are using that as a, you know, packing
material. Inside here, they have a paper bag that helps
keep some of the moisture in for the worms and as a second barrier in case some of the
worms get out of what’s inside here and they basically ship it in this little cloak
bag that they have tied it off. All this is made out of cotton. This is all compostable and so the worms can
breathe. Now another thing that they do which is super-intelligent,
they actually add some peat moss, uh, you know, in here so it keeps a more stable environment
for the worms. So you are insured you are going to get live
worms and they only ship a few times a week, um, you know, to insure you are going to get
the freshest, most alive worms, you know, without ones that are not alive, that have
croaked during the shipment. So this is really cool they are shipping it
in this way. Yeah, Oh! The other thing I wanted to show you guys,
actually they showed me a worm egg. Let me see if I can find it over here, man. Oh yeah right, the worm egg. Here’s the worm egg right here. Man, it’s so small and tiny. It’s fallen down, I’m losing it. Alright, here’s the worm egg. I don’t know if you guys will be able to
see that but I got a HD camera now. Here’s the little worm egg. I don’t know if you guys can see that there. So small and tiny, it kind of like, uh, you
know, looks like a little seed, it’s kind of clear and this will hatch a bunch of the
worms. So, you know, some places they sell worm eggs. They keep them here to use and sell locally. They don’t ship them out and then they use
that to repopulate their stores of worms so that they could have even a larger army to
break down all the food scraps so that they can make more worms to sell and, you know,
more worm castings to give out to you guys. So yeah, really cool. You know, worms work in nature naturally so,
you know, you don’t have to grow worms in these big bins, you don’t have to, like,
you know, sort out your worms, right. You could avoid all this by just putting live
worms in your garden. If you have like twenty garden beds, you want
to order like a pound of worms and divide it into twenty portions and put a few worms
in each garden bed, right. If you provide the worms a good home, a good
environment, you have a nice moisture level, you have good organic matter in there, they
are going to be happy. They are going to eat all the food scraps
and all the compost, you know, degraded stuff in there and create more fertility and add
fertility to your soil and you are not even doing any work to add this fertility. The worms are doing all the work. It’s how nature works, right. You guys got to get some worms if you have
never added worms to your garden. I mean, one of the things I do is that I put
worm eggs into my garden, I have added worms to my garden. When I see one of my raised beds may have
like a lot of worms and some beds don’t have worms, I will like move them to different
beds and when I dig up to plant the plants and when I find a worm, I’m like “Oh! Where am I going to put you? I’m going to put you over here because I
don’t see many worms in that bed, right.” So we want to get an even distribution of
worms in all our different raised beds so that they can start working for us. They are free labor and free labor is the
labor that I like the most, right, when I have workers working for me including the
bacteria, the fungi, the worms that help cultivate these things for your garden. Alright, so what we are going to do next is
actually we are going to talk to Dale Hubbard, the CEO here and he is going to share with
you guys a lot more about worms that you and I actually never heard of. So now I’m here with Dale, the CEO of Nature’s
Little Recyclers and you will never guess by looking at this guy with his dirty hands
that he is the CEO but he keeps this whole business running and I’m glad that he is
just a guy like one of us, right. He is not some big huffy business-suit sitting
in some office doing crap and getting paid a lot of money. He actually probably works hard for his money
– Dale Hubbard: I do. John: – by the looks of it. But anyways, we are here to ask him a few
questions today on why it’s important that his business is here operating and why they
even got started and whole bunch of other things about worms that you guys probably
never heard anywhere else. So Dale, the first question I have for you
is “Why did you guys start this business because it’s you and your partner, Ed, right?” Dale: Yup. So the number one reason why we started this
business was, um, He wanted to grow…actually, my partner wanted to grow earthworms. He is like, looking for another thing to do
and [xx] “I think I want to grow earthworms.” At first, I thought he was crazy. I was like “No way you are growing earthworms. This is crazy. I’m not helping you.” Then he goes down to a place called The Plant
Chicago, which is an indoor vertical farm and he started processing all the waste and
producing compost and then I started meeting all the farmers and everybody and I realized
that in Chicago, the one reason we don’t have more farms here is because the soil is
so bad. It’s full of mercury and lead and in order
to produce good, um, good healthier organic food, we need to build up the soil to feed. So we figured by taking the trash, uh, compost
and feed it to our worms, we get high grade of fertilizers for it. John: That’s awesome. Yes, so let’s talk about this mercury and
lead. I mean, this is why I encourage you guys to
grow in raised beds instead of growing in the ground especially if you guys are in a
big city. You want to bring in some stuff and the worm
castings should be a big part of that, you know. I think I was over at your other facility
because this is the indoor facility. The outdoor facility, you know, you guys were
using wood chips in addition to the food scraps and the waste and the worms to break that
down. So what are you guys doing over there so that
the farmer can be successful growing there because you help out that farm as well as
other farms and communal gardens and things in the area, right? Dale: Yeah, absolutely. So one of the big things we do is we work
with other development projects to get the farms off the ground and over there, what
we are doing is, we are converting a parking lot, I think it’s a half-acre lot and we
are changing it into a [?]high grow able food. So by this time next year, there is going
to be an organic farm there. John: That’s awesome, that’s awesome. So, you know, um, let’s talk about, like,
diverting the food waste. As you guys can see behind us, we got the
bags, we got all the buckets full of waste that they have yet to process or they have
to process by throwing into the bins and the worms have to process it. But let’s talk about why, you know, it’s
so important to divert all this waste that will normally go into the landfill. Dale: So yeah, the number one thing that is
produced in the landfill is methane and what’s causing it, is the food waste. What happens to the food waste is that it
gets trapped in the landfill and lose oxygen and therefore goes anaerobic and produces
methane. So number one producer of methane. Um, everybody gives the cows the bad rep but
they are actually number two. So by processing it this way, there is no
methane produced and the fact that it not only stops methane from getting produced,
it also [xx] carbon-dioxide in the process. So it reverses both effects of the most dangerous
gases in global warming. John: Wow! So yeah, all you guys still throwing out your
food waste, minimally compost them or better yet, like they are doing here, feed them to
worms and if you guys are looking for a second job or a new, you know, thing to get into
aside because you hate your job, right, you can work with worms all day and start a worm
business. Get these castings, get these worms out to
people, your local community and ship them all over. We need more of the businesses like this and
that’s why I’m here sharing with you guys, uh, them today. So the next question. Let’s talk about the worms. You know, Dale told me that the worms actually
don’t eat the food. So what’s up with this? I see you put the food in there and the food
disappears but the worms are not eating it? What’s going on? Dale: So actually, worms are…it’s not
just the worms, the extra whole microbial process that comes with the worms, what they
do is they create enzymes and microbes that break down the food for the worms. Then, when the food becomes soft and almost
liquefied, then the worms go through it and eat it all. John: So Dale, the next question I have for
you is actually, uh, you know, what percentage of these nutrients…you are going through
a lot of food scraps and food waste here but I know you are not getting it all, what percentage
are you saving and what percentage is still going, you know, to the landfill? Dale: So actually, we only save a fraction
of, uh, compost or what is produced in Chicago. We…all of Chicago, all the composting programs
only two percent of stuff is actually diverted from the landfill. The other ninety-eight still goes to the landfill
and that’s pretty much true across the country. So almost all this stuff is still going to
the landfills so we need lots of people to compost, we need a lots of worm farmers, a
lot of more composters to get it done. John: Yeah, it’s a great, a great business
to have, right. So let’s talk about now, let’s talk about
shipping the worms and shipping the worm castings to people all over the country. Dale: Yeah. John: Right, why did you guys decide to, like
you know, sell them and ship them instead of just sell them in the local area? Dale: So the number one reason we decided
to ship them was, uh, is the internet, right. We can ship to the whole country, you know,
which is a click of a button versus locally, it was hard to get our name out and stuff. So we started selling on national sites like
Amazon, our very own website which allowed us to, um, get a lot of early sales and promote
our brand tremendously. John: That’s awesome. Yeah, I mean, that’s one of the reason why
I’m here because I actually found them on the internet. Found their website, found their prices. Actually, their prices on delivered worms
are, like, the lowest prices I found and we will talk more about that and give you guys
a special deal at the end but they have amazing prices on the worms and they also sell the
castings. These are so beneficial to you guys’ garden. So Dale, what are some of the reasons why
worms and the worm castings are beneficial for people in their gardens and why should
they use them? Dale: Sure, well the number one source in
organic fertilizer has a lot of nutrients and micro-nutrients you won’t get from normal
fertilizer, uh, normal soil. They also can help with pest control, um,
and they increase the water retention of your soil. So farmers are calling this, black gold. John: Yeah, black gold. So let’s talk about the word ‘humus’,
right. You know that word and why the worm castings
is one of the best humus out there? Dale: So humus allow air to get into the soil
so you, kind of, break up soil. One of the projects, one of the reasons we
use, uh, in one of our projects, we use worm castings because it’s an old farm land that
is compacted. It had been traditionally, conventionally
farmed for decades and all those soil became compacted out in the edge of the city. So we are using worm castings to put air and
humus back into it in order to allow to start growing organically again. John: That’s awesome. Yeah, I mean, worm castings – they are an
essential part of my gardening style and I want them to be a part of yours also. The best way of course is to have your own
worms in your raised beds or have your own worm box, if you want to do a worm box, or
a worm bin like you guys saw a little bit earlier and to get started, you will need
the worms. That’s why Dale could help you out. So you guys saw the process, how they pick
out the worms, ship you guys the worms and you can buy the worms and then put them into
your garden. So Dale, when somebody buys the worms and
they get them shipped to you, right when they get the box, what should they do? Should they leave the box sitting there for
a week before they get to them or where do they put them once they get them? Dale: So the first thing we always say is
to open the box right away to make sure the worms are in a good condition. Um, the number one thing you need to do is
to moisture them, that’s the biggest thing you need to do. They can sit in the container for up to two
weeks as long you add moisture to the system, uh, to the container but otherwise, we recommend
feeding it right away to your bins as fast as you can. That will be the best thing for the worms. John: Yeah. So, you know, set up your own worm bin to
put them in there to get them growing or just simply, like I mentioned, you put them into
your garden beds. You know, take a little bit and put in every
garden bed provided you have a good soil mixture with high organic matter and you have the
right water. That’s where they are supposed to live. Worms are supposed to live in the soil, not
necessarily in the bin like they are doing here but this allows them to grow and propagate
and get those out to more people and as they are doing, diverting the food waste, one of
the more important things you guys could do. So because, you know, I visited them and I
liked their stuff, I also negotiated with Dale, the CEO of the company, a good discount
for you guys, so we are going to get for you guys a 10% discount on any of the products
on their website and so you are going to want to order from them. I definitely can approve of their castings
that I saw and handled personally as well as the worms, they look like they got some
really nice ones. So you guys can get, not only the lowest price
that they have without my discount, you are going to get my discount too. So you probably not going to find lower price
online if you want to buy, you know, a pack of worms. So Dale, how many worms come in a pack? Dale: So a pound of worms usually contains
a thousand, about a thousand worms. We deliver more than a thousand worms in it. Actually, it is usually a good thing to start
like a five-gallon bin at your home garden… Oh! And John, I got a gift for you. There you go. John: Oh cool man! Check it out, he’s given me my own package
of worms in the paper bag like they would come shipped to you and in a cloak bag inside
with all the bedding material just like you guys are going to order and I’m going to
take this back on the airplane tonight when I fly back to, um, Vegas. I’m sure the TSA is going to have fun stopping
me. “What you got in that bag?” Then I’m going to say, “I’ve got worms. You want some.” So yeah, so now you guys can order the same
ones. I’m going to order some castings. So Dale, somebody wants to learn more about
you guys and your company and what you guys are doing and want to reach out to you, they
want to start one of these, you know, wherever they live. How can they get a hold of you? Dale: So this way, you can get hold of us,
at nlrwormshop.com, it’s our website and NLR Worms is also on social media, Facebook,
twitter, all of it. Um, so that it is will be the easy way you
can contact us. John: Cool. They also have a cool YouTube channel that
I checked out that probably doesn’t have a lot of views but maybe they will get more
views after you guys see this video today. So, yeah. Any other last comments or things you would
like to share to my viewers today about the worms, about the worm composting, about diverting
the food waste or anything that we talked about. Dale: Um, we say we produce the best worms. We give it a 100% guarantee on all our products
so if you aren’t happy, we take it back and all this [?]money they can choose, could
help to make the world a better place. John: That’s awesome, man. That’s why I make these videos so the world
can be a better place through the education work that I’m able to do to, you know, highlight
companies like Dale’s here and adds, you know, are doing good in the world. This is how we are going to create a better
world by showing what good people are doing to create solutions in the world instead of
creating more problems. They are creating a solution for the food
waste and instead of creating problems by, you know, processing petroleum and fracking,
creating more problems. Let’s create solution in our world. One of the ways you guys can easily do that
is to start composting, start worm composting and of course, start growing your own food
so you can become a producer instead of a consumer in our unfortunately consumers’
society that we live in. It’s not going to happen overnight, right. You can start growing a small portion of your
food and every little bit helps. Every bit of food scraps you don’t put into
the landfill is helping out the world. It’s going to also help build your garden
too. So I encourage you guys to do that today. If you want to learn how, be sure to click
that subscribe button right down below. Our videos come out every 3 – 4 days educating
you guys on all ranges of subjects so that you guys could, you know, grow more food at
home. Also check my past episodes, I have over 1100
episodes online sharing with you guys all the knowledge you will need to grow your own
food, compost, make worm compost, make regular compost, whatever you guys want to do and
also be sure to like this video. You guys like this video. If I get enough likes, I’m going to come
back on my next trip and we are going to get more into detail on how they do their process
because this was just a general overview video. Also be sure to check that link down below
to go to their website to get the special deal on the worms and don’t forget the coupon code GYG You are not going to get that anywhere else. So hope you guys enjoy this episode. Once again, my name is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com. Will see you next time and until then, remember
keep on growing.

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