331: Zach Brooks on Sustainability and Worms.

Turning waste into gold with off-the-shelf, readily available items.

Zach semi-retired from Healthcare Management at age 42 when his consulting company went public. And when his first of three grandchildren were born, he went back to Arizona State University to get a second Masters Degree, in Sustainability.  Frustrated that most causes of climate change were not only fixable – but fixable with “off the shelf” practices and technologies, Zach set out to prove that an off-the-grid lifestyle could be every bit as comfortable as a wasteful lifestyle and have a positive impact on the environment.

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He wants to show we don’t need some new invention, we just need to use the solar and wind power we have now and nature’s method of organic composting, natural mulching, smart growing, and less silly waste.  On his farm is worm composting is key with the worms turning garbage into fertilizer and serving as food for their chickens.

In This Podcast:

Changing lifestyles to be more sustainable was something that Zach Brooks was willing to do with complete commitment, especially when it seemed fairly easy to do. He semi-retired young enough to realize he could make a difference so he bought some property and is creating a sustainability experiment to help others see how they can implement easy changes too. One main ingredient to his project is the worm farm and worm education and he shares key tips on how beneficial they are.  He wears the title of lazy gardener with comfort and wants to teach others how to be more efficient without working so hard at the process.


Listen in and learn about:

  • Semi-retiring early and focusing on the future
  • Turning his land into a sustainability experiment with an operating farm producing food, shelter, energy for 30 families
  • Getting waste from others to help fuel his worm farm
  • The plans for the property that help the environment
  • Some of the items they have put on the property that help meet their sustainable goals
  • Working to use excess energy wisely
  • Using a diesel generator
  • Compostable cups instead of plastic
  • Being a Lazy gardener and some of the methods that are energy efficient and very effective
  • Using worm castings and the benefits in the garden
  • The set-it and forget-it worm habitat for an Arizona garden
  • Watching kids learn about where eggs come from
  • The education they are doing in the community
  • His goal to have 10,000 worm farms in Phoenix

As well as:

  • His failure – Interacting with neighbors when they accidentally brought in too much waste and had a overabundance of flies
  • His success – The people that his four sons have become.
  • His drive – His grandchildren and the future they are going to experience
  • His advice – Try zero waste, it is easier than you’d think

Zach’s Book recommendations:   

Any Books by Joel Salatin

Any Books by Michael Pollan

Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World by Seth Siegel

How to reach Zach: 

Website: arizonawormfarm.com

Facebook: Arizona Worm Farm


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