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Deer Valley Farm Uses Worm Castings to Boost Plant Yields

Deer Valley Farm is an organic farm located in Rutherford County, NC. They offer fresh trout fillets and smoked trout that are available for purchase at the Rutherford County Farmer’s Market and select retailers in Rutherford and Polk Counties. Deer Valley’s trout is delicious, but what really sets the farm apart is that they donate everything they grow to the food insecure of Rutherford County.

The farm is owned by Bob Young, a Rutherford County Barn board member and Ruffton Roots Community Garden volunteer. Bob worked as a chemist and contractor before deciding to start his own farm. After 10 years of operating the farm as a successful business, he made the switch to farming to serve the food insecure of the county he calls home.

Growing Organic Vegetables in Raised Beds

Deer Valley Farm grows a mixture of vegetables based on the needs of Rutherford county’s food relief organizations. Vegetables are grown in raised beds and soil fertility relies on compost. The farm’s thermophilic compost piles are fed with a mixture of chicken manure,

leaf mold, food waste, and red clay then routinely turned. The raised beds are reformed and amended with fresh compost every 2 years with a 3-4” layer of compost.

Worm Castings with Every Planting

In the spring of 2020 Bob agreed to participate in a side-by-side trial using Greenhill Worm Farm worm castings. In the trial, cabbage transplants were planted side-by-side inside the farm’s hoop house. One row was amended with compost and worm castings while the other was amended with only compost. The cabbages that got a handful of worm castings quickly separated themselves from their competition.

Bob had this to say about the results of the trial, “I thought that it might improve the size and quality of the plants, but I was truly amazed! It made a HUGE difference. The plants with the worm compost looked like they had been planted at least a month earlier. After that trial, everything that we planted got a little worm compost (it doesn't take much).”

Deer Valley Farm has been a Greenhill Worm Farm customer ever since this trial, and our owner routinely joins the farm’s team of volunteers on planting and harvest days.

For more information about using worm castings at your organic farm or garden, or to order worm castings email

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