Browse all past winners
Squirming Soils

Squirming Soils

Samantha Sawyer 283 Views

Vermiculture is composting waste with the use of worms. I would begin this business with a Continuous Flow Through Bin, produced by Michigan Soil Works. This 4’x8’ bin has the capacity to create 25 gallons of organic waste a week. It is a simple and sustainable concept, with little effort involved. Each week waste would be added to the bin. This waste includes food waste, yard trimmings, and paper/cardboard waste. Throughout the week, the worms within the bin continually breakdown waste and produce castings (worm feces) which can be used as a nutrient rich soil amendment. These castings can be sold to local farmers and gardeners, as an alternative to synthetic soil amendments. Not only can the castings be sold, but worms can also be sold as they reproduce. While this is becoming a popular practice on the coasts, there are few commercial vermiculture businesses in the midwest. My goal is to bring this idea to West Michigan as a cleaner alternative to soil amendments.


I will source out local households, restaurants, and businesses that are disposing of compostable waste in an unsustainable manner. I will offer a waste pick up service to these individuals for a small fee. In turn, I will use the waste to create vermicompost, which will be marketed to growers as a cleaner, more sustainable and nutrient rich option to synthetic amendments. This will lessen the amount of waste entering local landfills, and would provide an eco friendly soil amendment to growers.

What I Will Do With $5,000

If I were to win $5000, I would use it to expand my current backyard hobby vermicompost into a sustainable commercial business. I think that this is a unique idea that would impact an array of individuals within the West Michigan region, and beyond. Waste is currently a large environmental issue, and with $5000, I would have the opportunity to take waste produced by local households, restaurants, and businesses, and in turn create a product to positively impact Michigan’s agricultural scene.

Samantha’s avatar

About Samantha Sawyer

Growing up, I always said I wanted to grow flowers and be happy as a career choice. After completing the MCC Entrepreneurial Program, and graduating from MSU's Agricultural Technology Program, I am proud to say I am doing all that and more. I spend my time building up my farm while finding ways to improve the industry as well as help make farm to table connections within the community . My goal is to embrace the good in the agricultural industry and to make changes where needed.

Next 5x5 Night: