Mary Appelhof

Mary Arlene Appelhof ( 1936 –2005 )
Biologist, Worm Farmer, Educator, Publisher, and Environmentalist
Popularly known as the “Worm Woman” from Kalamazoo



Mary advocated using earthworms to recycle food waste into usable fertilizer.

In 1982 she self-published Worms Eat My Garbage. By the time she wrote the second edition in 1997 she had sold over 100,000 copies. To date over 200,000 copies have been sold. This year her close friend Joanne Olszewski has authored a 35th Anniversary edition to be released by Storey Publishing in December 2017.

As “Worm Woman,” she introduced thousands of schoolchildren and home gardeners to the fascinating, environmentally-significant activity of vermicomposting.