Time line

 Because snake oil and charlatans are out there claiming their product is the best for your soils (with no valid documentation to back up there claims) I knew from the very beginning, I needed to have my invention and research documented, by Accredited Universities and Institutions.  Following is a time line of this endeavor. 




April 12, 1985

 It was on this date, when I thought, how to reintroduce earthworms back into a field during planting. I wrote to Daniel M. Riess at the Law Offices of Locwood, Alex, FitzGibbon & Cummings, about getting a patent. After finding out how expensive it was going to be I waited a few years in order to save money to do so. 

December 15, 1988

 Patentability search by National Patent Search Asso. Inc. 

April 24, 1989

 Advanced Biotechnology was incorporated.  This was the name of my first company.  Other companies that have been started all under the on going business of making VermiPods.


Advanced Biotechnology, Inc.

Advanced Prairie, Inc.

VermiPod, Inc.


GHK Investments, LLC.

VermiPod, LLC.

June 1, 1989

 Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoon™ became Patent Pending. 

Summer 1989

 Eli Lilly Co. provides ABI with (Elanco) gelatin capsules. Executive Bill Smith said, “Once in a great while can you bring a new product to market, with no competition”. 

April 30, 1990

 ABI accepted as an Illinois Sub Chapter “S” Corp. 

May, 1990

 International Presentations on “Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoons™ Eggs” at the International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology; Avignon, France. 

September, 1990

 Publications, Earthworms Doing The Job In Your Fields? Illinois Soybean Farmer, Vol. 1, No. 4, September 1990. 

November 2, 1990

 Publications, Earthworms in Modern Agriculture, Farm Show Magazine, Vol. 14, No. 2, November 2, 1990. 

July 2, 1990

 Philip Pateman files for patent at the Law Offices of Samuels, Miller, Schroeder, Jackson & Sky. It will take two (2) years before my first patent is issued. 

January 1991

 IL Dept. of Commerce and Community Affairs award a $20,000 Grant to document encapsulated annelid viability and to determine crop yields due to earthworm presence. They, however, only provided $12,090 before shutting down the Illinois State University Technology Center.  Dr. Bicki from the University of Illinois takes over after ISUTC shuts down. 

April 1991

 Started research at Kreitzer Farms. 

January 1991 to December 1992


 Professor Thomas J. Bicki, Department of Agronomy, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, performs a two-year Earthworm Tillage field research project at Kreitzer farm to determine crop yields due to earthworm presence. This project was also duplicated at the U of I Orr Research Center at Perry, IL  

April 1991 to June 1992


 Professor Timothy J. Smith, Indiana University School of Medicine, Terre Haute, IN, performs the first encapsulated annelid viability test.  

Spring 1991


 Thorp Seed Co. offers to pay $10,000 a year for pre-mixing rights once VermiPods become commercially available. Frank Thorp said, “The real value to us would be having our companies and our seed brands tied in with a breakthrough seen by many as the agrarian equivalent to mother-hood and apple pie. That warm feeling that family seedsmen still in touch with the land are expected to provide.” 

July 23, 1991


 Received a license agreement from Illinois Foundation Seeds, Inc. of Champaign, IL to produce and merchandise soybean strains F3290, F3684 and F2790 and hybrid corn seeds strains M317X, M485X and M478X. This licensing partnership will allow ABI to sell seed together with its encapsulated earthworm cocoons. 

April, 1992


 Presentation, Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoons™ Eggs, BASF Agronomic Center, Lexington, IL, 

July 7, 1992


 Received my first US Patent 5,127,186, on a method to Encapsulate Earthworm Cocoons.* 

February, 1993

 Publications, Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoons™ “Eggs”, The Stockman Grass Farmer. 

1994 to 2001

 Before production scale-up could occur, inoculation protocols, earthworm cocoon production methods, encapsulation techniques and equipment were researched and prototyped. These activities were preformed over the next 7 to 8 years. 

July 15, 2001


Chris Woeltje, Dan Blocker and Steve Cull, Director Seed Operations

VermiPod, Inc. contracted with Ball Horticultural Company, West Chicago to encapsulate mass quantities earthworm cocoons (eggs) at one time.  VermiPod, Inc. did not start producing for the Horticulture and Toy Market on its own until 2004. 

October, 2001

 Publications, Planting Earthworm Cocoons with Crop Seed, Casting Call, Vol. 6, Issue 3,  

October, 2001 and May, 2002

 Presentation, Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoons™ Eggs, Illinois Technology Center, Savoy, IL. 

Spring 2004


 Gardens Alive! Introduces VermiPods™ to the public. Nearly 1,000,000 were sold in the first year of introduction. 

April 2004

 Awarded a U. S. Department of Agriculture Small Business Innovation Research Grant for $80,000. A Phase I grant to document Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoon™ viability. 

May 2004


 Dr. Clive A. Edwards, Ph. D., Professor, Entomology Department, The Ohio State University Columbus, agreed to become consultant. 

May 2004


 Mary Appelhof, founder of Flowerfield Enterprises a world famous author, lecturer, educator, and champion for conservation and ecological awareness. Her famous book, “Worms Eat My Garbage, agreed to become consultant.  

October 2004


 **SBIR research completed at Kreitzer Farms and at Texas Tech University.  Confirming viability of VermiPods™ to have over five-month shelf life. 

November 2004


 Advanced Biotechnology, Inc., Illinois Sub Chapter S Corporation changed its name to Advanced Prairie, Inc. 

December 28, 2004


 US Patent 6,834,614, on a Method and Apparatus for Encapsulating, Implanting, and Reducing the Mortality Rate in Earthworm Cocoons.  This patent allows VermiPods to be planted like ordinary seed. 

January 2005


 Peaceful Valley Farm Supply horticultural company became dealer and started selling VermiPods™. 

January 2006


 Territorial Seed Company horticultural catalog company became dealer and started selling VermiPods™. 

January 2006



Dr. Wade Elmer, Plant Pathologist and Ecology, at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station assists API research efforts.

Influence of Earthworm Activity on Soil Microbes
and Soilborne Diseases of Vegetables

August 23, 2006


 Scientific Paper. Shelf-Life Viability of Encapsulated Earthworm (Lumbricus rubellus) Cocoons. Christina M. Freitag1, Aaron Landreth, William Kreitzer2, Jaclyn E. Canas1, Qiuqiong Cheng1, and Todd A. Anderson1 1The Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163. 2Advanced Biotechnology, Inc., Elliott, IL 60933-0001. 

November 2, 2006


 Insect Lore signs letter of intent to manufacture a new toy just for VermiPods. This toy, called an Earthworm Nursery™, will allow you to watch an earthworm hatch from its cocoon. 

April 2007


 U. S. Department of Agriculture Small Business Innovation Research awarded another Grant for $80,000. A Phase I grant to document Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoon™ viability in soil conditions. 

June 7, 2007


 First VermiPods shipped out of the United States to Canada of all places. 

November 5, 2007


  A soil technician pulled 127 soil samples from this 320 acre field. 100 VermiPods™ were placed into each hole that was left behind by the soil technician.  

November 5, 2007


 A total of 12,700 VermiPods were placed into the holes that were created and then covered with soil.  The Dendrobaena veneta specie of earthworm cocoons were encapsulated and used for this inoculation.   

December 6, 2007


 EEC, LLC (EEC) an Illinois Limited Liability Company was formed. It holds and issues patent rights to VermiPod, Inc. EEC stands for Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoons™ which are VermiPods™. EEC has currently sold 8 percent of its company to outside investors for the purpose of providing working capital for commercial development into the Horticulture Industry. 

December 7, 2007


 VermiPod, Inc. was formed to start selling VermiPods™. 

April 7, 2008


 Tyler Bastine, Production Assistant for KVIE-TV Channel 6, Sacramento, CA wants to do a segment on VermiPod, Inc. to be aired on America’s Heartland TV show. 

May 3, 2008


 Insect Lore’s Earthworm Nursery™ becomes available for sale Worldwide. 

​June 15, 2008


VermiPods can be injected into the soil at a rate of 1000 per acre using 250 gals of water per acre.

The above is a Blue Jet applicator. 

October 10, 2008


 After selling VermiPods for four years, Gardens Alive! became a vested partner and a wholesale distributor to other horticultural catalog companies. 

October 21, 2008


 “Special Growth Soil” became Patent Pending as “Starter Soil Squares” for the Horticultural and Floricultural industry,

SGS Also Available Pelletized.
Additional benefits of using VermiPod, Inc’s Special Growth Soil™ include: (1) Plants potted in SGS can go for many days be-fore needing water. (2) Faster germination, and rapid root development. (3) Nutrient uptake to the plant occurs spontaneously. (4) Plants are healthier and more stress resistant. (5) SGS serves as a natural biological predator controlling agent due to the huge quantities of beneficial micro organisms inherent in its composition.

October 29, 2008


 Testimonial from Jason Beam on Soil Squares.
Re: Soil squares (I.e. Special Growth Soil™ )
Jason Beam
Wed, Oct 29, 2008 9:34 am
Bill Kreitzer
Bill, trial runs of your Starter Soil Squares™ are proving to be well worth their price. Excellent water holding capabilities (over 6 weeks before water was needed) and quick germination. I am very impressed. As far as sales are concerned, I'm in the middle of revamping my marketing and advertising campaigns for 2009. This is taking me awhile. I will be blogging about your product and then offering them for sale in 2009. Jason​ 

January 20, 2009


 Received US Patent 7,478,604, “Apparatus and Process for Improving Fertility Of A Soil, To Help Detoxify Hazardous Chemicals In The Soil and To Reduce Erosion Of The Soil”. This patent allows VermiPods™ to be placed into a tank and injected directly into the soil. 

January 27, 2009


 VermiPods shown for the first time to the agricultural industry at the 13th Annual No-till On The Plains Winter Conference at the Bicentennial Center, in Salina, KS. 

Spring of 2009


 Became partners with Barry M. Goldwater, Jr. 

November 1, 2009



Barry and I became partners with Michael Hecomovich, Paradise Valley, AZ.  and we formed a partnership which became


November 4, 2009


 GHK formed VermiPod, LLC., an AZ Corporation. 

October 7, 2010


 First large sale of 100,000 VermiPods sold to a farmer who will be planting them in the spring of 2011.

October 10, 2010


 Sold 51% interest in VermiPod, LLC., to Don Weder, Highland Supply Corporation to expand into the Agricultural Industry.