Dedicated gardeners and farmers have known about the amazing powers of earthworms for generations. But one Chilean company is trying to harness that power for something that could help farmers worldwide in more ways than they ever expected.

The Guardian clues us in to a partnership between that Chilean company, called BioFiltro, and a Mendocino, California, vineyard called Fetzer Vineyards. Fetzer has a long history with sustainable and environmentally friendly practices; in 1999 it became the first vineyard in California to source 100 percent of its energy from sustainable sources, largely from solar panels on its own property, in addition to maintaining woodlands surrounding its vines and receiving a Zero Waste certification in 2014.

But any vineyard—any farm of any sort, really—has a huge problem to overcome if sustainability is the goal: water. Producing wine requires a great deal of water, not just to irrigate the grapes but to disinfect, clean, and bottle wine. Wastewater from those processes can be expensive or time-consuming to dispose of conscientiously.

So what did Fetzer do? Read on at Modern Farmer.

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