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The Dirt On Us

Betsy and MattWorm ranchers Betsy Lynch and Matt
von Riesen are content to scoop poop.

Welcome to Good Earth Worms, LLC, a small, family enterprise run by Matt von Riesen and Betsy Lynch. We're located on 35 acres just north of Fort Collins, Colorado.

Getting Barren Land to Bloom

When we bought our farm in 2004, it was a big step up from the 2.5 acres we previously owned. We eagerly set about planting trees, fruits, flowers and a large vegetable and herb garden on what was once part of Shamrock Ranch. We quickly discovered, however, that the hard-pan clay was inhospitable to anything green. Not only was our ground devoid of organic matter, we could barely get a spade into it.

We've long been committed to growing food organically. But in order to grow anything on our barren land, we knew we'd have to amend our soils. No problem, we thought. We have horses... and plenty of horse manure... What we quickly discovered is that in this dry climate, it takes a long time to compost horse manure to the point that it's a safe and gentle soil enhancement.

A Truckload of Redworms

The more we studied, the more we learned that worms were the answer. Vermicompost is the perfect way to restore life to depleted, unproductive soils. We started with a single pick-up truck of "bed run" worms and a pile of horse manure.

In the last few years we have become dedicated to growing worms for the express purpose of producing vermicompost on a small commercial scale. We also sell redworms and composting supplies to other inspired organic growers like you. We now tend millions of worms in windrows outdoors in our "worm corral."

Good Neighbors, Good Horses

Our horses continue to play a part in our vermicomposting enterprise. Equine manure, it turns out, is an ideal medium for growing worms. We bed our stock in pre-composted horse manure. Our worms also eat plant and vegetable surplus from our own organic gardens and hayfields. In addition, we feed them past-prime organic produce from our generous neighbor, Grant Family Farms (CSA). Click on the link to check out Grant Farms and the essential role they play in feeding Northern Colorado.

And because we hate to waste anything, we also keep worms indoors in a Worm Factory®. Our "house worms" eat our leftovers and we return the vermicast to our kitchen garden. We've always got several working trays composting and in varying stages of "readiness," so every month we have a fresh batch to harvest. The worms move out, and we simply spread the contents of the tray around our plants.

We'd love to get you started with your own Worm Factory®. Click here for product information. When you're ready to buy redworms, please support your local grower. If you have problems finding a supplier, we'd be happy to ship them to you.