Episode 210. Harnessing the Power of Worms in Composting

Not all superheroes wear capes, and that includes worms. In this episode of Voices from the Field, Nina Prater, sustainable agriculture specialist in the NCAT Southeast office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, talks with Matt Casteel, owner of Wurmworks, a composting business in Jackson, Mississippi.

The two take a closer look at worms as composting superheroes. Casteel explains how to identify “good” compost, the ins-and-outs of worm composting, why compost is so good for soil health, and how composting can put food waste to good use.

ATTRA Resources:

Worms for Bait or Waste Processing

Vermicomposting: The Basics

Managing Soils for Water: How Five Principles of Soil Health Support Water Infiltration and Storage

Worms for Bait of Waste Processing (Vermicomposting)

Other Resources:


Teaming with Microbes

Texas Worm Ranch

The Worm Farmer’s Handbook

Dr. Norman Arancon, University Hawaii

Soil Food Web

Chris Trump (Korean) Natural Farming

The Good Food Revolution

aWorms Eat My Garbage

Labs that perform compost bioassay:

Small Labs –

Big Labs –


Sources for Worms:


Contact Nina Prater via email at ninap@ncat.org.

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