Building Soil with Food Waste

Hillview believes that good food starts with good soil. Our long-standing partnership with University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, along with the generous support of Mayo Clinic Health System, insures that Hillview will always be able to divert tons of food waste from the landfill, while at the same time educating people in the La Crosse area about the many benefits of vermicomposting, both large scale and small.

With the help of a paid UW-L intern, and an electric worm mobile provided by Honda Motorwerks of La Crosse, Hillview’s vermicomposting program produces VermiGold, a completely organic, local, sustainable, and nutrient-rich fertilizer, perfect for growing delicious, healthy food for our community. We donate a large portion of our fertilizer to school and community gardens as well as use it in our own greenhouse. Look for the VermiGold sign in your local ACE Hardware Store in La CrosseViroqua Co-Op, Kroners True Value, and the People’s Food Co-Op. You can also purchase it directly from us, in our Greenhouse during Come and Grow hours, at the Cameron Park Farmers market, and online

Turning garbage into gold

Learn how to make your own wormbin by taking a free workshop at our greenhouse! Register for Worm Wednesday here!


How to Use Vermigold vermicompost

General rule: Make a solution that has a 10-20% concentration of castings.

  • If adding directly to soil: one part castings to four parts soil, 
  • One tablespoon to soil when starting seed/transplanting
  • Side-dress each plant with half cup, or one cup per linear foot of castings and water every two months

Worm tea: 

  • Brew castings in old sock with five gallons of water for 24 hours,aerate with aquarium air pump

VermGold is in many ways a living product—we harvest in Spring and Fall. There are certainly times when VermiGold is not available, but you always know it is fresh, alive, and full of nutrients for your plants! Please contact the above distributers or our for more information, contact our Program Manager, Natalie Kostman.

What is vermicompost?