A sustainability partnership that highlights nature’s recycling rock stars!
At Triple-S Compost, one of our missions is to create sustainability partnerships that build creative organic solutions to environmental challenges. We look for ways to divert organic waste from the landfill and use it to improve our materials and the environment, while helping customers achieve their own sustainability goals.
One of our early and most unique arrangements has every element of a successful sustainability partnership covered, thanks to one of the stars of the natural world, the earthworm! Magic Worm Ranch is an organic business in far northwest Montgomery County that showcases earthworm castings as one of the richest, all-natural fertilizers available. Worm castings, what is digested and excreted by earthworms—yes, basically earthworm manure—has big benefits for the planting and agricultural cycle, naturally aerating and regenerating soil while feeding and fertilizing surrounding plants and trees for better long-term health.
But it takes a lot of earthworms (think tens of thousands!) and just the right habitat to run a successful worm business, so owner and renowned “wormologist” Gary Green approached Triple-S Compost with a unique proposition: We would supply the Triple-S Tea Compost he exclusively uses to house his African crawlers, and Green would provide us with his valuable worm castings to improve our soil and compost production. The partnership has been a huge win for both parties. Triple-S Compost’s Grant Hileman said tea compost is the perfect living and breeding grounds for the creepy crawlers, and the worm castings help our products stand out from our competitors.
“Tea grounds are a valuable organic waste stream that naturally boosts earthworm populations in the soil, whether mixed in for use in home gardens or on a larger scale like we do at our facility,” said Triple-S Compost’s Grant Hileman. “Adding earthworm castings to our production cycle greatly improves the quality of several of our soils and blends, and more land planners and architects are seeking out products improved with worm castings. We couldn’t be happier about our partnership with Gary and the Magic Worm Ranch!”
Green is thrilled with the partnership too, saying it took considerable time and trial and error to land on the tea compost as the perfect habitat for his African night crawlers, numbering anywhere from 32,000 to 120,000, depending on demand and season. “It was quite a challenge to find the right soil for this business, but the worms thrive on Triple-S’s tea compost and its high nitrogen content. We use it exclusively for our worm habitats, but also for the gardens across our property. Triple-S’s products are helping our business grow and get the good word out about sustainable gardening.”
A veteran and retired police officer, Green relocated to Texas from Indiana and in 2016 opened the Magic Worm Ranch in Plantersville, born of his previous worm-bait business hobby and belief in the nutrient-rich superfood worms produce. Today Green runs the business while also making the rounds at area garden centers to preach the importance of worms and worm castings as a natural substitute for chemical fertilizers.
“Among the many benefits of using worm castings is the ability to reduce the use of pesticides, herbicides and similar chemical-based garden products and fertilizers,” Green said. “These products solve a short-term issue but cause longer-term problems because they leach nutrients from the land and eventually degrade soil quality and overall health. We’re passionate about organic methods and we’re happy more gardeners are hearing about it and seeing the results in person.”
Green said because of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, interest in gardening and organic methods are at an all-time high. The ranch is growing, with plans under way to expand the Magic Worm Ranch product line, install a teaching garden created with Triple-S’s tea compost, and offer garden clinics (beginning at 1 p.m. March 20) to showcase this unique and valuable organic business.
Magic Worm Ranch is open to the public 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays and weekdays by appointment. Garden clinics will require advanced registration to ensure a seat. To learn more, click here or follow the company on Facebook and Instagram at @MagicWormRanch.