East Tennessee woman uses worm 'doo' to start business

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STRAWBERRY PLAINS, Tenn. (WVLT) -- They're slimy and you might think they're creepy and you can usually find them underground. An East Tennessee woman is using worm castings to start a business.

It started as a hobby a couple years ago for Michelle MacDonald.

“We just started taking our kitchen scraps and feeding it to worms, I ordered a pound of worms online and from there, it's really gotten out of control,” says MacDonald.

An experiment that has turned into 'Smoky Mtn Worm Doo.' It's a business that has taken indoor vermicomposting to a new level.

“They've seen results in as little as a week, their plants were deeper green, they started to grow, they doubled in size,” adds MacDonald.

She says started with a bin, shredded phone books and junk mail, some water to create a moist environment and a pound of a gardener’s best friend: worms. The process starts once the worms adapt to their habitat.

“We feed to the worms anything from cucumber ends, leftover vegetables from dinner.”

The worms don't eat the food, instead they eat the bacteria that the food creates.

MacDonald says, “Everything that worms eat gets magically transformed to this beneficial little pellet known as poop and it's full of beneficial microbes and stuff that plants seem to really really love."

It's the stuff she bags and sells at the Market Square Farmers Market on Wednesdays. It's a rich, dark, soil conditioner known as worm dirt.

“I think everybody should have a worm bin, do their part in taking trash and turning it into a treasure,” says MacDonald.

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