Couple launch distinctive worm farm enterprise
A couple who moved to South Shropshire to escape the stresses of London life are now leading a more down to earth existence by running a worm farm.
Luke and Steph Boxall with their worm soil
Luke and Steph Boxall launched “Worm Soil,” which sells bags of eco-friendly fertilizer made by around 100,000 worms on their four-acre small-scale farm in Neenton.
Steph stated that she and former software vendor Luke took the plunge to start the business during the pandemic.
“We moved from London’s commuter belt a few years ago with our two young children due to a lack of work-life balance, but Luke stayed at his job until the middle of the pandemic last year.
“At that time we decided that enough was enough, and Luke left the business life to start a farm that made vermicast – basically worm droppings – by feeding well-composted horse manure from local stables to worms.
“We are unique in that we are the only worm farm that specializes in this. Our goal is to make vermicast more mainstream. It’s an environmentally friendly alternative to synthetically produced plant foods or fertilizers, and is perfect for eco-conscious gardeners as well as those looking for the best for their plants and their soil.
“We’re also so proud to sell a real Shropshire home-grown product. Sally Themans, our consultant at the management consultancy Good2Great, emphasized the importance of origin for our company, as this is a district that is rich in agriculture and food production. “
The couple has just started selling the product in reusable and recyclable bags to gardeners, horticultural companies such as vineyards and other specialist plant growers, gardeners and cut flower growers.
“We have always been interested in the environment and soil and we are very aware that artificial fertilizers are very damaging to the environment and our climate. So this is a perfect alternative, ”explained Steph.
Worm Soil was started with the help of a Step Up for Business program from Bridgnorth management consultancy Good2Great. The program is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and administered by Telford & Wrekin Council on behalf of Shropshire Council partners.
Luke added, “Good2Great has given us confidence that we can be successful in our company. After each training session, we were excited to take the next step and use the tools we’d learned to make Worm Soil a successful business. “