Agriculture Rogers Family Company uses worms to clean up coffee industry and restore habitats

Published on April 21st, 2010 | by Tina Casey


Billions of Red Worms Get Green Jobs on Coffee Farms

April 21st, 2010 by  

Rogers Family Company uses worms to clean up coffee industry and restore habitatsBillions of California red wriggly worms are hard at work cleaning up the coffee industry.  Yes, worms.  Coffee industry leader Rogers Family Company has been using the worms to combat water contamination caused by mounds of rotting coffee pulp.  Using the only tool at their disposal —  their “prodigious digestive talents” — the worms convert waste pulp into organic fertilizer.


The fertilizer in turn helps replenish nutrients in depleted soil, which in turn helps to restore ecosystems that support organic coffee farms that double as nature habitats.  As an extra green bonus, the worms can also produce biogas — just like biogas from cow manure, only without the hooves and such-all.

The Problem with Coffee Farms

Some non-sustainable features of coffee farms are well known, like the use of pesticides and the destruction of habitats.  Organic growing methods can resolve those problems but Rogers Family Company is tackling another issue, the practice of letting tons of rotting waste from coffee operations contaminate local waterways and drinking water supplies.  At the company’s model organic farm in Panama, worms were deployed to convert and recycle 5,000 tons of coffee pulp that had been contaminating the Caldera River.  They were also set to work composting waste from the local community.

Bokashi, Worms and Coffee: Perfect Together

At a more recent project in Rwanda, Rogers pre-treated the coffee pulp with a special mixture of microorganisms, molasses and other ingredients to achieve an effect similar to bokashi.  Bokashi is a revved-up, fermentation-based composting technique first developed in Japan.  The treated coffee pulp was then fed to the eager worms, which consume their equivalent in body weight daily.  In human proportions, for the average adult that would come out to…aw heck, you do the math.

Image: Gummi worms by digipam on 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


Tags: , , , ,

About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

  • Search the IM Network