Cortez Journal

Worm farming enjoys slimy success

April 18, 2000

By Matt Gleckman

Worm farming is a slimy business ó but it is also an ecologically sound one.

Gary Molzahn, a Cortez resident and experimenting worm farmer, said Monday "it is amazing what earth worms will do to bring soil back to life."

Worms will feed on household scraps, paper, cardboard, animal scraps, sawdust, hay, grass clippings and a number of other organic materials and will leave behind a nutrient rich, balanced soil, said Molzahn. "Worms are the ultimate recyclers."

Molzahn said that worms will eat up to half their weight in organic material each day, allowing a pound of earth worms to produce half a pound of nutrient rich soil each day.

"This is a trend that is catching on across the nation," Molzahn added. "People are making use of earth worms in big city landfills as well as in scrap containers behind restaurants."

Molzahn said worm composting is something that he would also like to see the school cafeterias get involved in. "With just a couple of bins, schools could cut down on their cafeteria waste and turn it into a potting soil," he said.

People are also adding worms to small compost piles under the kitchen sink, Molzahn said.

"Contrary to what people think, the worms donít smell, so you can keep them indoors," he said.

Worms will also reproduce on their own, according to Molzahn. "Males and females will mate and leave behind eggs," he said. A worm colonyís population will double every 40 days, he added. This means that individuals can start small and build up their own population in a fairly short amount of time.

For more information or to get a worm farm started, call 565-6124.

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