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 I have 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  See VermiPod Test Plot.

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
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, Ohio, 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 consultants.

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 County to Canada of all places.

November 5, 2007

A soil technician pulled 127 soil samples from this 320 acre field.  I then planted 12,700 VermiPods.  Putting 100 VermiPods™ into one of these holes that he left behind.  The Dendrobaena veneta 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 produce and sell VermiPods™.

April 7, 2008
Tyler Bastine, Production Assistant for KVIE-TV Channel 6, Sacramento, CA wanted 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

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

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
Insect Lore’s “Special Growth Soil” became Patent Pending as “Starter Soil Squares” for the Horticultural and Floricultural industry

 October 29, 2008

Testimonial from Jason Beam on Soil Squares.

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 would 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.

Agricultultural inquiries please contact Bill Kreitzer directly.


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

Michael Hecomovich

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.

VermiPod, Inc.

Barry M. Goldwater, Jr.