SUPPORT THE SOIL
Punch & Castings are great for:
Trees & Fruit Trees
Gardens & Vegetables
Annuals & Perennials
Wormtopia is operated under the nonprofit Be the Change Project. It grew out of our food-waste collection business, the Reno Rot Riders, after we realized how much more we could do with the great waste ("scrapple") we were collecting each week from around town.
We began the RRR in late 2015 serving just three restaurants: Campo, Liberty Food & Wine Exchange, and Great Full Gardens. In 2016 we started a residential collection business which has since been sold and "upcycled" to Down to Earth Gardens & Compost.
In our ever-growing desire to be better stewards of the earth we started building Wormtopia in mid-2017 with generous support from Patagonia. We officially began production in a 40-foot hoop house in January of 2018.
Climate Change Action
Like much of what we do, we see Wormtopia as an extension of our broader climate work. Healthy soils sequester carbon while food waste in landfills produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. It's not rocket science but a model of simple, local solutions using appropriate technologies that engage, educate, and activate people so they can participate in creating a more positive and vibrant future.
Our worms eat well! The majority of their food comes from organically grown pea shoot mats from New Harvest Farms in Reno. They also get a good dose of local leaves, regular inputs of coffee grounds, and veggies.
With great inputs, our worms thrive and we get a phenomenal product for plants and soils.
Left: raising chicks atop the bin
Our worms make two products - castings and extractants.
Worm castings are worm poop. "Castings" as in something cast off or away. They are an amazing amendment for gardens and soils that are full of beneficial microbes, nutrients, and enzymes that allow plants to take up nutrients more effectively. The're like super food for plants. For a lot more info, go here.
Extractants are what drips out of our bins and what we collect into buckets. This juice is made of water that has passed through the worms' environment & their castings and picked up nutrients, enzymes and beneficial microbes along the way. Whereas castings are a slow-release amendment, worm juice can be sprayed directly on leaves and soils for quick uptake and use. It's kind of like juicing some kale in a smoothie instead of munching it in a salad.
We sell some of the juice at the Riverside Farmer's Market each Saturday and the rest we use improve local fertility of soils and plants in our neighborhood and the Farmy community of Reno.
Checking our compost tea for biological activity