The Signal: Vermiculture is worming its way into the hearts of Americans. There has been a recent spike in search interest for “worm farms” in the US, matching countries like Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa where at-home worm farms have been popular for many years. 

Worm farms are used to recycle food scraps and other organic waste into natural fertilizer products. Worm farming, or vermicomposting, involves feeding organic waste to worms that thrive in decomposing matter. The worm castings are harvested as garden manure, from which liquid fertilizer can also be harvested. The primary benefit of worm farming is that it is environmentally friendly: Waste that would normally end up in a landfill is converted into rich organic compost for the garden.

Vermiculture is not the only DIY gardening craze that has been trending since the pandemic: Pinterest searches for “indoor beekeeping” and “how to grow spinach from scraps” are up 4,087% and 1,043%, respectively, in recent months.