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April 20, 2006

3 Million Worms Toiling For Jack Chambers

Jack Chambers is an airline pilot. In fact he is captain of a 747-400 that travels to and fro between Shanghai and the U.S. But in his spare time, he is landlord to 3 million worms that toil away producing a material that wineries like Quixote have learned are nature's food for young or ailing grapevines.

A long view of the reactor where the Chambers' worm crew works on the
dairy manure they've been hired to process.

Feeding on compost and manure, worms repeatedly rework the material to create castings that at once establish microbial colonies in the soil and serve as a plant regulator.

Growth trials conducted at the COPIA gardens in Napa's Oxbow District are illustrated in a progression. The plant on the left received no worm castings, the others received 5, 10 and 15 percent respectively.

Washed root masses illustrate the difference in growth when worm
castings were added to the potting mix on the right.

When the combined influence of restaurateur Alice Waters and neighboring vintner Rob Sinskey moved us to farm sustainably, Jack Chambers came into our lives. Sonoma Worm Farm has been also been used to great result by Araujo, Turley, Quintessa and the Reserve on both grapevines and olive trees.

A yard of finished worm castings ready for delivery to a local vineyard.

Jack and Lois Chambers have a lush and productive vegetable garden rooted almost entirely in worm castings that produces the best rhubarb we've ever had.


Posted by Pamela at April 20, 2006 8:31 PM| Share on Facebook | Biodynamic Farming

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