You may be asking, what's the big deal about the worms?
Well, when we took over management of the Blue Earth County Community Farm in 2021 the ground was all hard packed clay soil. Not a single worm to be found. Worms are an indicator of healthy soil that is good for growing, and after 2 years of working to build up the soil, we are just beyond thrilled that we have worms out at the farm!
Earthworms perform several important functions in soil. They improve soil structure, water movement, nutrient cycling and plant growth. Worms feed on plant debris (dead roots, leaves, grasses, manure) and soil. Their digestive system concentrates the organic and mineral constituents in the food they eat, so their casts are richer in available nutrients than the soil around them. Nitrogen in the casts is readily available to plants. Worm bodies decompose rapidly, further contributing to the nitrogen content of soil.
For the past two years Farm workers and volunteers have added countless pounds of compost and leaves to the berms where we plant vegetables, herbs, and flowers, making the Community Farm a welcoming home for our worm neighbors. The worms, in turn, are doing their part to help create a healthy soil ecosystem. This helps us increase the amounts of produce grown and donated to our community partners such as ECHO Food Shelf and FOCP Summer Food Program.
So please join us in welcoming the worms to the Community Farm!