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[APD] Soil Substrates

Hi there,
A question about soil substrates.  I've got a basic loam and a bag of
earthworm castings (for organic material).  I've seen a number of references
to adding vermiculite.  I'm wondering if the vermiculite is necessary, or is
just a basic loam+castings mix sufficient.  Diana Walstad talks about using
regular potting soil or garden soil, which is a mix of a bunch of stuff, but
the garden shop people suggested I not always trust premixes to not be
tainted with unwanted chemicals, etc.  Also, what ratio of loam to org.
matter should there be?

Could anyone lend some advice regarding this?


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