And-Hof is in the early stages of developing a Vermi-Compost business (the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by Earthworms in a controlled environment). Vermi-Compost is intended to create self-sustaining income for the Sanctuary and educate the public on composting. The Vermi-Compost Farm will upcycle materials generated by the Sanctuary’s daily operations (manure, expired produce, and cardboard) to produce rich, healthy soil to be sold throughout the community and used on-site as a teaching tool.
The way small-scale worm farms work is by layering cardboard in a plastic tub, adding worms and food scraps, and allowing the worms to eat through the food waste to later defecate and generate high quality compost.
Eventually, the process of feeding the worms comes to an end and the rich soil created by natures decomposers is screened to break up clumps. Later, the worms are transferred to a new container to repeat the process.
And-Hof will replicate this system on a greater scale utilizing 50 to 90 pounds of donated spoiled produce per week, stacks of cardboard boxes, and a never-ending amount of animal manure. And-Hof estimates to produce between 80 to 120 cubic yards of Vermi-Compost annually.
The product will be sold in 30-pound bags, retailing at $28.00/bag, or per ton at $1,000.00/ton for local delivery. To further close the waste system, And-Hof will upcycle and utilize the 200 animal feed bags delivered each month to package its Vermi-Compost product and seal bags with strings from hay bales used on-site. And-Hof is already in conversation with local nurseries, and businesses who are interested in selling the product in stores.
And-Hof is committed to Vermi-Composting because of the superior nutritional qualities over conventional composting methods and the ability to recycle large quantities of cardboard more organically.
The project’s long-term goal is to revitalize the Sanctuary’s “Christmas field” named after pigs that were rescued the day before Christmas. And-Hof’s plan is to relocate the pigs into the woods (better for them) and utilize the worm compost to improve the Christmas field’s degraded soil to allow for large-scale planting of vegetables, medicinal herbs, and saffron to sell within the community to contribute to the Sanctuary’s self-sustaining income model. A portion of the Christmas field will be available for lease for the community to grow food, following the CFP Food Justice Garden model.