Worm farming doesn’t come easy, says Vicki Sullivan. It takes a lot of trial and error to get the right technique, but once you got it, you’ll yield some rich returns.

Sullivan operates Grand Prairie Worm Farms, today’s featured Oak Cliff Earth Day vendor (and three-year participant), from her residence. She’s been fine-tuning her skills since taking a composting class in 2003.

"I had a great teacher, and by the end of the class, I couldn’t throw my garbage out," she says. After an unsuccessful attempt at a large compost pile, Sullivan tried her hand at vermicomposting, the technical name for worm farming. After lining a large bin with shredded paper, kitchen scraps and other organic waste, Sullivan’s red worms go to work eating the material and leave worm castings, nutrient rich manure, which can be used to fertilize lawns, houseplants, flowerbeds and gardens. 

Sullivan works by day as a contractor for a railroad company and in her free time she sometimes volunteers at Earth Day events at schools. She volunteered today at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School’s Earth Day, showing third graders the piles of worm castings ("Eeew!") and worm eggs ("Oooh!"). She offers advice, sells books and worm composting starter kids through her website.