The Dirt Club: How Using Worms Can Revolutionize Farming

Boston Richins was never a big fan of worms.

When she married a small-town farm boy with dreams of owning an organic fertilizer business, she hoped it was just a phase.

It wasn’t. Her husband went full force into an earthworm-driven business plan.

The fertilizer is called “worm castings” – “the polite way to say, ‘worm poop,’” Richins said. Unlike traditional fertilizers, worm castings won’t burn plants, and have no offensive odor, chemicals, synthetic additives, pathogens, or pollutants.

“I thought it was disgusting,” she said.

Still, trying to be a supportive partner, Richins introduced the product to her family of avid gardeners.

“The results were quite literally jaw-dropping,” she said. “The lawn was lush, full, and greener than it ever had been. There was a real-life ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ situation happening in my childhood backyard.”

That transformation was enough to get Richins fully on board. But while they had a great product, roadblocks got in their way.

“Like any startup, we have faced multiple challenges throughout the years, many of which stemmed from a lack of direction and mentorship,” Richins said.

Enrolling in the Master of Business Creation (MBC) program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business put them on the right path.

“The MBC program was a dream come true for our founding team because we weren’t clear on the steps to take to make our business dreams a reality,” she said. “The mentorship and education we have received has been unparalleled. We have made more progress in the last six months than we have in almost six years of working on our business.”

Today, The Dirt Club sells in two Utah storefronts: Jolley’s Corner and J&J Nursery and Garden Center. Richins plans to expand even further in the near future.

“We hope to be available in multiple retail locations throughout Utah and surrounding states to provide premium worm castings to our wonderful friends and neighbors,” she said. “We have multiple products in the pipeline to expand our offerings and meet a variety of gardening needs.”

Eventually, she’d like to see The Dirt Club sign partnership deals.

“We hope to one day partner with landscaping companies to provide premium services in lawn and landscaping treatment,” she said.

For now, though, she’s just excited to see the growth.

“There are not a lot of women in agriculture, and particularly not in this niche organic fertilizer space,” she said. “I look forward to growing our brand on social media as we document the life of a city-girl-turned-worm-farmer with her farm-boy husband.”

To learn more about The Dirt Club, visit their website at

The Dirt Club sells organic fertilizer made from local worm castings.

About the Author:

Jacqueline Mumford Jacqueline is a master of accounting graduate from the University of Utah. Specializing in tax, she works as an accountant studying the intersection of government and business. In her free time, she runs, plays Candy Crush, and reads novels. Twitter: @jacqmumford and LinkedIn here.

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