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.
TIME LINE OF MAJOR EVENTS AND TECHNOLOGICAL MILESTONES
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.
Patentability search by National Patent Search Asso. Inc.
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.
GHK Investments, LLC.
Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoon™ became Patent Pending.
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”.
ABI accepted as an Illinois Sub Chapter “S” Corp.
International Presentations on “Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoons™ Eggs” at the International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology; Avignon, France.
Publications, Earthworms Doing The Job In Your Fields? Illinois Soybean Farmer, Vol. 1, No. 4, September 1990.
Publications, Earthworms in Modern Agriculture, Farm Show Magazine, Vol. 14, No. 2, November 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.
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.
Started research at Kreitzer Farms.
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
Professor Timothy J. Smith, Indiana University School of Medicine, Terre Haute, IN, performs the first encapsulated annelid viability test.
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.”
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.
Presentation, Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoons™ Eggs, BASF Agronomic Center, Lexington, IL,
Received my first US Patent 5,127,186, on a method to Encapsulate Earthworm Cocoons.*
Publications, Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoons™ “Eggs”, The Stockman Grass Farmer.
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.
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.
Publications, Planting Earthworm Cocoons with Crop Seed, Casting Call, Vol. 6, Issue 3,
Presentation, Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoons™ Eggs, Illinois Technology Center, Savoy, IL.
Gardens Alive! Introduces VermiPods™ to the public. Nearly 1,000,000 were sold in the first year of introduction.
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.
Dr. Clive A. Edwards, Ph. D., Professor, Entomology Department, The Ohio State University Columbus, agreed to become consultant.
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.
**SBIR research completed at Kreitzer Farms and at Texas Tech University. Confirming viability of VermiPods™ to have over five-month shelf life.
Advanced Biotechnology, Inc., Illinois Sub Chapter S Corporation changed its name to Advanced Prairie, Inc.
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.
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply horticultural company became dealer and started selling VermiPods™.
Territorial Seed Company horticultural catalog company became dealer and started selling VermiPods™.
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
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.
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.
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.
First VermiPods shipped out of the United States to Canada of all places.
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.
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.
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.
VermiPod, Inc. was formed to start selling VermiPods™.
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.
Insect Lore’s Earthworm Nursery™ becomes available for sale Worldwide.
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.
After selling VermiPods for four years, Gardens Alive! became a vested partner and a wholesale distributor to other horticultural catalog companies.
“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.
Testimonial from Jason Beam on Soil Squares.
Re: Soil squares (I.e. Special Growth Soil™ )
Wed, Oct 29, 2008 9:34 am
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
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.
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.
Became partners with Barry M. Goldwater, Jr.
Barry and I became partners with Michael Hecomovich, Paradise Valley, AZ. and we formed a partnership which became
GHK INVESTMENTS, LLC.
GHK formed VermiPod, LLC., an AZ Corporation.
First large sale of 100,000 VermiPods sold to a farmer who will be planting them in the spring of 2011.
Sold 51% interest in VermiPod, LLC., to Don Weder, Highland Supply Corporation to expand into the Agricultural Industry.