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Farmers Market: 4 Corners Worm Farm sells stuff to make plants happy

Frank Dean and Wendy Walker are passionate about worms’ role in regenerative farming
Frank Dean and Wendy Walker with 4 Corners Worm Farm set up every Saturday at the Durango Farmers Market, 259 W. Ninth St. They sell worms, castings and worm kits, which gives beginners an automatic take-home worm farm. (Courtesy photo)

After constant persistence from their nephew, Frank Dean and Wendy Walker began exploring the role worms play in regenerative farming. Soon after, the couple started raising worms and opened up 4 Corners Worm Farm in the winter of 2021.

“Once I started with the worms, I literally went down the wormhole,” Dean said.

Worms are great little composters.

“Paper, plastic and glass are about the only things that worms can’t recycle,” Dean said. “Over time worms will process a cotton shirt; they’ll process a pair of Levi’s.”

Worms process all the various materials given to them into vermicast, or worm castings, which is a nutrient rich, microbial active fertilizer. The vermicast gives plants a long-term sustainable food source rather than a short-term boost provided by chemical fertilizers, Dean said.

Raising worms is pretty simple, and their castings are good for everything from house plants to larger grow operations.

“I’ve been trying to get kids to start doing it,” Dean said. “If we don’t start from the ground up – changing things – nothing gets solved from the top down. So you got to start with the kids and the new generations.”

Worms also make great pets.

“They don’t bark, they don’t shed, you don’t have to take them to the vet and their poop is useful,” Dean said.

Dean and Walker started off small but are beginning to transition into a more commercial operation. As a part of the effort, 4 Corners Worm Farm can be found at almost any farmers market in Southwest Colorado.

At the Durango Farmers Market, 4 Corners Worm Farm is selling worms, castings and worm kits, which gives beginners an automatic take-home worm farm, Dean said.

Dean and Walker’s booth will be set up Saturday at the Durango Farmer’s Market, 259 W. Ninth St.

For more information, visit 4cornerswormfarm.com.

kpercival@durangoherald.com

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