Family-owned and operated from the foothills of Western North Carolina, Greenhill Worm Farm produces quality worm castings from worms raised right here on the farm. Owner Sallie Smith started raising worms to make plant food for her own garden. Excited by the results, she was inspired to start Greenhill Worm Farm. Daughters Sarah and Laura, son-in-law Milton, and friend Brian round out the team of worm wranglers.
Who We Are
Greenhill Worm Farm is a vermicomposting business located in the Greenhill community of Rutherford County, North Carolina. The farm is owned and operated by Sallie Smith. Sallie is a former teacher who taught for 30 years in the Rutherford County School system. When she isn't wrangling worms, Sallie can be found wrangling her two grandkids, volunteering at the Rutherfordton Community Garden, roofing with the Women Roofers of Rutherford County, or serving on the Board of Directors at the KidSenses Childrens’ Museum in Rutherfordton.
In 2017, Sallie caught the vermiculture bug and the hobby quickly became a business. The farm raises and breeds composting worms and sells worm castings and worm casting tea. Products are delivered locally, available at select local retailers, and can be purchased at various farmers’ markets in the spring and summer.
Greenhill Worm Farm’s worm of choice is the Red Wiggler composting worm. Red Wigglers are some of the most efficient worms for processing organic material into vermicast. The worms are housed in hand-built continuous flow-through bins and in carefully monitored breeder bins. Material is screened through a motorized trommel where a 1/8" screen separates the castings from the worms. Worms are returned to the bins to continue their work, while castings are stored in a temperature and moisture-controlled setting.
Timing is key to producing quality castings. Greenhill Worm Farm casting production takes anywhere from 3 to 4 months. Castings that are harvested too soon lack the beneficial microorganisms and plant growth hormones of finished castings where most of the material has been processed through the worm. Sallie insists on allowing the appropriate amount of time so the end product is finished castings of the highest quality.
Vermicast inputs are carefully chosen from trusted local sources. Inputs include bedding, manure, and food scraps. Bedding is a mix of manure, leaf mold, wood chips, and shredded cardboard. Manure is locally sourced from an organic, herbicide-free farm. Food scraps are donated by local food pantries, farms, and produce stands. These donations not only feed the worms but also help divert food waste from our landfills.
Sallie is passionate about quality control. Composite samples are taken from each batch of castings and sent to the compost testing lab at North Carolina State University. If target values for pH, C : N ratio, and other important factors are not met, that batch of vermicast does not go to market. When you purchase Greenhill Worm Farm castings, you can be confident you're buying castings of the highest quality.