Nebraska farmer uses worms to do dirty work

Posted at 3:07 PM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 18:34:57-04

 Inside an unsuspecting metal building near Lincoln's airport, millions of crawly creatures get a bath.

It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.

Jeremiah Picard, the self appointed worm czar, hoses two large bins full of about a million red wiggler worms.

Picard heads up Big Red Worms, a side LLC from the nonprofit Nebaska Farmers Union.

Big Red Worms takes discarded food waste from schools and restaurants in Lincoln and turns it into a useful compost product with the help of worms. The process is called vermiculture.

"Essentially there's two parts of composting. There's carbon and nitrogen," Pichard explains. "Carbon, you think of green things like glass clippings, food. Nitrogen is brown things, brown you think of things like twigs or wood chips hay, sometimes manuares. You mix that at the right ratio and what happens is the microbes begin to break down the material and so it's like it would be in nature but it's at a more concentrated effort." he said.

Picard says they started with a few hundred pounds of worms composting. That's compounded now to several hundred pounds in the two long bins. The goal to take a little dig out of landfill waste, making healthier soil, for local farmer and gardeners.

"If everybody could compost at home, and those who can't could bring their waste to someplace that does compost it. Then we could put it back into our community gardens," he said.

Helping go green, thanks to some little red worms.