Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Worm Farming In Winter

The bottom line: Worms do survive cold weather.  But there are a few precautions you should take to:
  • Keep your worms alive
  • Keep your worms active (growing and breeding)

What Happens To Worms In The Winter?

First of all, worms become "dormant" when temperatures fall below 55 degrees.  They move around less, breed less, and eat less.  Alive but dormant. 

When temps fall below 50, worms can go into survival mode.  Meaning  they just might crawl, creating for you, the worm farmer, a "worm nightmare". More on that later.

When temps fall below freezing and stay there for several days, your worms can die.  You must keep your beds from freezing or  risk losing your entire worm stock.  As you can see, this is one of those "pay attention to your worms" times.

A Nightmare At The Worm Farm

As promised last post, the best way to illustrate the effects of cold weather on your worms and the "nightmare" that can happen is to tell a story from my first worm farming year.

On the first winter of our worm farming career, a cold front moved down early and fast.  In one week, we went from record heat to a hard freeze.  And it was still October.  Folks in Florida aren't used to this kind of stuff, so we were unprepared. At least, as far as the worm farm was concerned.

One day we were worrying about our worms frying, the next day were were trying to put little ear muffs and mittens on our worms.  (I know, worms don't have hands or ears.  Just making a point.) We had been warned by an old-time worm farmer about the dangers of cold weather, particularly to our worms kept in "holding trays" inside the worm house.

These trays, unlike the outside beds, are more shallow and therefore more at risk in cold weather.  The worm house is insulated and has an air conditioner for the summer heat (an absolute must), but we had no heat source.

Thinking we might be okay because of the insulation, we fed and watered the worms, then we went to our own warm beds for the night.

The next morning, when I went down to feed the worms, I opened the worm house door to a scene straight out of a horror story.  Worms were literately everywhere.  They met me at the door, massed in balls at the door seal.  They were crawling in lonely singles up the walls. They were in squirmy balls in all four corners.  They were hanging off the sides of the beds.

There were worm clusters under loose pieces of tile flooring.  There were individuals worms crawling across the entire floor. There were worm balls huddled here and there and everywhere. Dead and dying worms were all I could see. Everything I looked under had a wad of worms.

The few remaining worms in the beds were compact balls massed at the corners. It was truly a nightmare.

Next....How To Prevent This From Ever Happening Again!

Worm Farming Guide

 I feel really good that can help others avoid some of the costly mistakes I made when I first started.  You'll find other solutions and prevention's for worm farming problems  in my Worm Farm Manual.

Increase your profits and make money quicker and easier with this Step-by-Step Guide to growing earthworms.  Click here for more information.

         Want to start worm farming right away?  Buy it now.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Caring For Worms In Winter

Taking Care Of Worms In Cold Weather

There's a serious cold front moving into parts of the country next week.  This is probably a good time to take a break from the "Worm Business Mistakes" series and look at the problem of worm farming in cold weather.

After a long hot summer (which has it's own set of worm care problems), winter is upon us.  Even here in North Central Florida, we've had a couple of cold snaps already.  There's an arctic blast expected up North next week, though it's not coming down this far south (sorry about that.)

Cold weather can be a trying time for the worm farmer.  Worms go dormant, so they aren't breeding, eating or growing as much as they do in warmer temperatures.  Cold weather is also a time of great danger to your worm stock.  Ever hear of a "worm crawl"?

No, it's not the latest creep show down at the Multi-Plex, it's a real life nightmare that can happen for various reasons in the worm farming business.  The trick is to keep it from happening and limit the damage if it does by knowing it's causes and prevention's.

One of the biggest causes of "worm crawl" is a significant drop in temperatures. Worm beds housed in shelters that allow for climate control are protected somewhat from this danger.  However, if your worm house doesn't have a source of heat or the heat goes off, your worms are still vulnerable to "worm crawl".

Worms bedded outside are the most at risk.  There are steps, though,  you can take to prevent worms from crawling because of cold weather.  The secret is understanding why they crawl, when they'll crawl, and what to do if they crawl.

Why Worms Crawl

Although it's absolutely detrimental to their health and well-being, worms are prone to crawl out of their beds when temperatures drop below 60 degrees.  If you've never experienced this "worm nightmare" before, count yourself lucky.  It can be devastating to your worm business.

With knowledge that the ordinary worm grower doesn't generally have, you can avoid this problem and save yourself time, money, and heartache.  That's the purpose of this blog: passing along knowledge the ordinary worm grower isn't privy to providing you immunity to this and other worm farming problems.

Perhaps the best way to explain a "worm crawl" is to tell you the  story of my own "worm crawl nightmare."

Next....My Worm Nightmare

Worm Farming Guide

I've written my Worm Farm Manual  so you don't have to learn worm farming lessons like I did - the hard way.  Worm farming is a great, home-based business that the whole family can participate in together.  Save yourself time, money, and aggravation -  benefit from my experiences.  

Increase your profits and make money quicker and easier with this Step-by-Step Guide to growing earthworms.  Click here for more information.

                         Don't want to wait?  Buy it now.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Start Your Worm Farm Right

Get Started Worm Farming On The Right Foot
To find out more about worm farming, click here.

Thinking of starting a worm farm? Launch your worm farm successfully by avoiding these common mistakes made by the novice worm farmer:
  1. Not paying attention to your worms
  2. Over selling your worms
  3. Under selling (not expanding your market)
  4. Expanding too fast
  5. Poor customer service
  6. Poor marketing
  7. Not delegating

Keep Your Worm Customers Happy

Worm Farming Mistake #5 is "Poor customer service".  It's a well know fact in the business world that getting customers is hard.  Keeping customers is harder.  And just as important.  Once someone decides to buy from you, you should treat that person like he or she was the most important person on the planet.  Within reason, of course.

Here are some common business tips on how to treat your customers.  We'll discuss aspects particular to worm farming and worm sales shortly:
  • The customer pays your bills.
    Don't ever loose sight of the fact that your customer is your source of income.  I don't need to point out how important that little fact is. Treat them accordingly. Listen to your customers and they will appreciate it.
  • Listen.
    Listening to your customers is the only way to know what they want and need.  Your understanding of your customer will let you know what you need to do in order to make them happy.
  • Communicate
    Keep in touch with your customers so you establish a relationship and can anticipate their needs.  If you are the one keeping your customer happy and solving their problems, you'll be less likely to loose that customer to someone else.
  • Make your customer feel important.
    When they call or when you speak with them in person, make them feel important by using their name, smiling (even on the phone, it comes through), and using their name.  Use body language that shows your respect for them.  People will appreciate it.  Don't you, when your paid attention to by folks you patronize?  The Golden Rule applies here, even in the worm farming business.
  • Make sure your customers understand your business and what's expected of them.
    People are happy when they know what's going on and what your're procedures are for placing orders, taking payment, etc.
  • Learn to say "Yes", within reason.  
    If you must say "No", find a way to make it not sound like a "No".  In other words, use more than one syllable, it will soften the blow.
  • Say you're sorry.
    If you foul up, make a mistake, or can't give them what they want, remember to apologize.  People will forgive you and be more understanding if you show concern and that you are thinking of them.
  • Always give more than is expected.
    When folks get more than they paid for or get a little something extra, you will score mucho points and outshine any competition.
  • Ask for feedback.
    You can learn a lot from your customers, so get their input regularly.  They'll feel important and you'll learn invaluable ways to serve them better than ever.

Worm Farm Customer Service

As promised, let's look at customer service as it pertains to selling worms.  Once you start worm farming and the worm gets out, you'll find that a lot of people will want to bend your ear about raising worms and taking care of worms.  They'll keep you on the phone forever. 

You'll have customers who want to start worm farming themselves.  Don't be afraid to help them out, they'll be good customers for you as they stock their worm farm beds. There's such a demand for earthworms, you don't really have to worry about competition down the road.

You want to answer questions and help your customers learn how to care for their worms and keep them alive.  But, if you talk to everyone who calls like this, you'll never get anything done and will soon be out of business.

I know, you're supposed to listen, answer questions, and get feedback. But, as stated above  more than once, you have to do all this "within reason".

The way to handle inquisitive worm customers is prepare a "worm care" brochure that you can email them.  Make note of the most usual questions asked (there are common questions that most people ask).  Answer these questions in the brochure, spell out your policies, prices, pickup times, shipping dates, etc.  An information brochure is not only be an invaluable time-saver for you , it is a  great customer service tool as well.

When you start your worm farm business, you'll be pressed for time.  Don't be tempted to ignore calls, however.  Spend a little time talking and answer a few questions, especially if the caller is a customer or potential customer.  Then, suggest they give you their email so you can send them your information brochure that is just chocked full of advice that will answer almost any question they could possible have.  Tell them to call you back if they have any other questions or concerns that the brochure doesn't cover.

This aspect of worm farming needs more attention because you'll receive many of these calls and it's a somewhat delicate balance between helping people and not getting anything done.  We'll come back to this a little later.

Get Started Worm Farming

Get your worm farm starting on the right foot. Manual shows you how.

Avoid mistakes and learn how to worm farm.  This easy to follow, simple guide takes you through the steps of setting up your worm farm.  Tips, troubleshooting, how-to's.  Get started today with your own successful, profitable worm farm.