From Our Editors
Scott Mallory farms worms for a living. "We need to save the planet," he says, and promotes worms’ work as a way to help. According to Scott, the humble earthworm drives nature's system of fertilization, pest resistance, and turf regeneration by infusing soil with powerful microorganisms. Through Fertillives, he produces compost tea that can bolster anything from home gardens to full-scale farming operations. After feeding his worms organic matter from vegetable scraps to sawdust, he brews the resulting compost and extracts the microorganisms into a solution. He then triggers their rapid growth by feeding them plentiful oxygen and food, such as blue-green algae and philly cheesesteaks. The resulting mix is so powerful that when sprayed onto plants, it neutralizes pest larvae and fungi, but is harmless to kids and pets. As the solution works its way into the soil, it also promotes turf regeneration, keeping soil nutrient rich.
In addition to producing compost teas for home gardens, Scott also produces it on a scale for commercial farms, freeing them of the need for industrial chemicals that, while keeping away insects, can also harm turf-regenerating bacteria and damage long-term soil health. Through his spray service, he also helps farmers spray their crops with it. One of his proudest moments came in 2011 when he delivered compost tea to Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm. That season, its pumpkin patch was one of the few in the area untouched by an outbreak of powdery mildew fungus.
Beyond his compost-tea production, Scott helps hobby and professional farmers maintain organic, sustainable practices through services such as soil testing, classes, and consulting drawn from the methods he uses to grow his own food. He also appears frequently at local farmers' markets, such as the Springfield Farmers' Market on Fridays and the Cottage Grove Growers Market.