Sunday, October 25, 2015

Worm Farming For Profit

Worm Farming For Profit

What are some of the ways to increase your worm farming profits?  Review the worm growing products list below .
  1. Worm Egg Capsules or Cocoons
  2.  Worms
  3. Worm Castings
  4. Garden Culture
  5. Vermicompost
We've covered three of the five.  Let's examine Garden Culture, an often times overlooked item that sells well locally, as well as online.  

Garden Culture

Local gardeners and farmers, if they are made aware of it's benefits, make a good customer for an easy-to-package garden culture product.  

What is garden culture?  Simply a scoop or bag of partially decomposed worm bedding  with any  worm castings and worms/eggs/hatch-lings it contains.  Gardeners can mix this soil amendment into their growing beds, gardens, or planting soil for improved fertility, tilth, microbes, and aeration.

Extra Profits Less Work

Because garden culture is basically scooped up, weighted, then bagged, there's much less work and time involved on your part, yet the price is good.  Folks are getting several benefits all in one package - soil-improvement, fertilizer, live worms for the future - so the price you can ask is very profitable for the time and effort involved.

I would suggest you use bedding that is in mid-life - not ready for worm castings harvesting but still aged.  It should be "vermi-compost" as apposed to "worm castings".  It should be "organic material" rather than just the peat moss you use to ship bait worms.

Also, use bedding you've already harvested most of the larger worms and cocoons.  Leave enough for a good product, but don't overload it.  Moisten the bedding but don't over-wet, especially if you are shipping it.  Shipping wet products can  be  too expensive for long distance sales.

You can also have a separate area that you use just for Garden Culture production.  This will be a vermi-compost pile or bed that you add leaves, clippings, vegetables and other composting materials, then add worms to decompose the material.  In this bed, you aren't interested in growing bait worms or lots of worms, so it doesn't require a lot of your attention.  Just keep it watered and protected.  Toss occasionally to aerate.

When you get an order, you simply mix the bed, scoop it up into bags, weight and label.  Folks can pick it up, you can deliver it, or you can ship it.  

Don't bag the garden culture up too far ahead if you don't have sales.  You want to keep the product fresh and viable. Sitting around in a bag for too long risks killing the worms and drying out the organic material. Incidentally, the bags you use should be "breathable" to keep the worms alive.

Add Garden Culture to your list of for-sale items and increase your worm farm profits the easy way.

Worm Farming For Profit Information

For more worm farming information, please check out my Worm Farm Manual: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Earthworms for Fun and Profit.   Find out other ways to increase your worm farming profits and solve problems.

 If you're thinking about starting a worm farm, this guild shows you how.  Avoid mistakes, save time and money, get off to a good start with this easy to understand, step-by-step guide.

Order your digital download or hard copy today.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Feeding Worms Fish Food

Feeding Worms Fish Food

Worm Farming Q&A

From time to time on this blog I share questions I receive about raising worms.  Here's a recent one about feeding worms fish food.

Q:  Can I feed my worms fish food?
A:  Probably.  I've never fed worms fish food (it's expensive, I think).  When considering feeding your worms anything, I suggest you follow the following procedure just to be on the safe side (better safe than sorry).

Testing New Worm Food

  1. Pull out a very small number of worms, 5-10, and put them in a separate container with worm bedding.
  2. Feed these worms the worm food you want to try (in this case, fish food).  Spritz the top of the bedding with non-chlorine water; sprinkle on the food; spritz again if the food is dry.
  3. Observe these worms for a few days to see how they react.  If they do well, the food is o.k. to use.  If they start behaving badly you know the food is not suitable for worm food.
By feeding only a small number of worms separately from your worm bed, you don't endanger your entire population of worms.  It always pays to be cautious when considering an untested food or bedding source.

As for the fish food, I would treat it like a grain. As I explain in my worm farm manual, worms should be fed grains only in amounts  they can eat in a day.  Any left over's should be scraped off before adding more. Reduce the amount of grain if the worms don't "clean their plates".

This feeding regime prevents "acid poisoning", a real worm killer and probably the number one reason people fail at worm farming.  Otherwise, bon appitite.

Worm Feeding Information

For more on worm feeding and other worm farming information, please check out my Worm Farm Manual: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Earthworms for Fun and Profit.

Available as a digital download or hard copy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Five Vermiculture Products You Can Sell

Worm Farming Marketing Tips

Worm Castings

Getting back to the products from vermiculture that you can sell:
  1. Worm Egg Capsules or Cocoons
  2.  Worms
  3. Worm Castings
  4. Garden Culture
  5. Vermicompost
Number three on our list is "Worm Castings" or, if you prefer, "Worm Poop".  Some worm farmers are only interested in producing this wonderful fertilizer.  It's benefits are catching on fast as gardeners learn about it's soil health benefits and the positive effect it has on the environment.

Worm Castings or Vermi-Compost?

There is a different.  Worm castings are just that - all poop and no undigested bedding or organic material.  Vermi-compost is compost with a lot (or not so much) worm castings included.

You can sell both and both are excellent soil amendments.  Worm poop is more than a soil amendment, though. It's really a slow release fertilizer.  Vermicompost is great,however, for soil tilth improvement, microbe content and some worm poop mixed in.

Worm castings, being all or mostly all worm poop, demands a higher price than vermicompost.  It should be on the dry side (so folks aren't buying water) and should have a minimal amount of undigested organic material in order to justify the price.  Application rates are lower for worm castings than for vermi-compost because of the higher nutritional content.

Getting pure or nearly pure castings is not that easy and it takes a while.  Frankly, there are products out there that are 99.9% pure and that concentration is almost impossible for the average worm farmer to achieve.

However, you can refine your vermicompost down to a high concentration of worm castings, limit the moisture and you're sure to beat a lot of so-called worm castings sellers out there who are basically selling wet compost.  The results gardeners get is proof enough and you can point out the differences in your sales presentations.

Your going to have lots of vermicompost and worm castings from growing your worms. So even if you're doing it just for the worms, also plan on marketing this wonderful soil amendment and fertilizer for extra cash.

Worm Growing Information

If you're thinking about starting a worm farm,  this manual gets you off to a good start.

Starting from the beginning and on to selling your worms and/or worm castings, limit your mistakes and save time and money with up to date information and techniques.

Order your download version or a hard copy today!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

One Thing You Should Never Do To Your Worms

Never Do This To Your Worms
This worm is in danger!
Doing This Is A Sure-Fire Way To Kill Your Worms

Worm Handling Do's and Don'ts

Quick.  What's the easiest way to kill worms?  Besides poison or fire?  While you think you're taking care of them?

Answer:  Exposing your worms to air.

Can't tell you  how many times I've heard something similar to this and I cringe every time:  "I ordered 200 worms and I only got 199.  I know 'cause I counted them 10 times to make sure."

Or: "I've counted my worms in my worm bed and it's got 9,314 worms.  Is that too many?"

First of all, you don't need to know the exact count of your worms right down to the last individual. Unless they're cupped bait (which is generally around 24 worms and can be counted quickly), finding the exact count of worms in a bag or bed is just not that necessary.

Secondly and more importantly, the act of counting each and every worm right down to that last individual hiding under that last bit of bedding is actually very harmful to the worms and can kill them.

Why?  I'll tell you why.  Worms hide under bedding for a reason.  The light rays hurt them and the air dries them out.  Quickly.  So when you meticulously pull every worm out of that bedding saying "five-hundred and eighty-seven", and then, heaven forbid, leave the poor guy lying around exposed while you continue counting, that worm is drying out immediately and the harmful light rays are sickening it immediately.

Now, the worms won't die right away except if they're left out for an extended period.  But they are at risk of getting sick and you'll be wondering later, "Why are my worms crawling around aimlessly on top of the bedding?" "Why are my worms balled up in the corner."  "Why are my worms smaller." "Why are my worms dead?"

Worms exposed naked to air dry out very quickly.  Because they are comprised mostly of water and the  water evaporates easily, you can actually see them loosing weight.  You may start out with a pound of worms and by the time your done counting, you may only have half that amount.  Plus, the stress on the worms is harmful and will set them back weeks in their development.

The skin of a worm is highly sensitive to light rays.  The light is actually very painful, which is why leaving a light on over a bed keeps worms from crawling.  Worms avoid light for a reason.  When you're pulling them out of the bedding for counting (or transferring, for that matter), the worms receive harmful, burning light rays to their skin.  Once again, this sets back their development and can sicken them to the point of dying.

Counting Worms

So, how are you going to get a count on the worms you have, whether you ordered a bag or you're selling a pound of worms to a customer?

If you've just received a pound of worms you ordered,  weight the bag of worms.  The worms were shipped at just under 2 pounds (1 pound of worms and the rest moist bedding).  Taking into account the loss of  moisture during transit,  the bag should weight  around 1 pound 8 or 10 ounces.  If you dump your worms into a tray and toss the worms to evenly distribute them, you sound see an even amount of worms to bedding.

If you're serious about knowing the exact amount of worms and really want to count them, have a separate tray of bedding to toss the worm into as you pull them out of the original bedding. Throw some bedding over the worm immediately and continue counting.  Limit the amount of exposure the worms have to light and air to an absolute minimum. Oh, and spritz your worms with some non-chlorinated water after you're done to replace lost moisture.

For Worm Farmers

For aspiring worm farmers,  my worm farm manual has some  quick and easily methods of counting your worms without actually counting every last worm.  Plus a whole lot of other tips and how-to's.

My Worm Farm Manual comes in a hard-copy or digital download.  Get all the information you need on worm counting and worm care in one handy manual.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Vermiculture Products To Sell Continued

Worm Marketing Tips

Examining Products Produced By Vermiculture:Worms

Looks get back to looking at what valuable products you can produce via vermiculture.  

Your worm farm is basically vermiculture on a commercial basis.  And as we discussed previously, there are five sale-able items of value from the business of vermiculture arranged here in most- valuable-first order:
  1. Worm Egg Capsules or Cocoons
  2.  Worms
  3. Worm Castings
  4. Garden Culture
  5. Vermicompost
Last time we examined the most precious product that brings the  highest price: Worm Egg Capsules (cocoons that contain worm eggs).  Next on our list is #2 Worms.  

Worms: Red Worms, European Nightcrawlers And Others

Earthworm production is the most common reason folks start a worm farm.  The earthworms are, of course, the most important component of a worm farm and will be your most sale-able item.  And worms give you all the other valuable products to sell listed above.

Worms are the "vermi" in "vermiculture".  From the Latin worm vermis meaning worm,  they are the machine of your vermiculture business.  So pay them well....with rich, organic food stuffs and manures, just-right moisture, zero light, safety, peace and quite.

When compared to other means of production, earthworms work cheap.  Most of the food stuffs can be found for free or nearly free. The same goes for bedding.  They don't require fancy buildings and office furniture.  Just a nice fluffy, moist bed with low light.  And they don't talk back.

Worm Markets

As we discussed the the posts about earthworm markets, there's a ready demand for worms most anywhere in the country.  Earthworms have real value.  Whether as fish bait, vermicomposting bins, pet food, or soil enhancers, worms are (almost) worth their weight in gold.  That's why the  egg capsules are your most valuable resource: they're the source of your future worms and without them you won't have any worms to sell.

So, which came first, the worm or the worm egg capsule?

Get Started Worm Farming Today

Worm farming start-up costs are surprisingly low and you can do it yourself or with family.  It doesn't require a lot of room.

Most anybody who can take care of gold fish can take care of worms.  And it doesn't require a lot of education.

All that's required is a willingness to work, paying attention to your worms, and a little specialized knowledge. In my Worm Farm Manual, discover:

  • Solutions to problems and ways to avoid them.
  • How to feed worms
  • How to breed worms
  • How to fatten worms
  • How to sell worms
Get started worm farming today.  Order a digital download or  hard-copy now.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Worm Farming Question About Breeding

Worm Reproduction

It's  Q&A time.  Here's a question I recently received and this is a frequently question:

Q:  Why aren't my worms breeding?

A: There are a few reasons worm can stop making babies.  Examine your worm growing situation and see if any apply to you.

  1. The bedding needs changing.  If the bedding is too concentrated with castings and broken down, the worms will do more than stop breeding.  They'll stop breathing, too.  Or simply start crawling.

    Solution:  Change out your bedding as soon as it needs it.  This timing can vary with how many worms you have in your bed and how much bedding material is in the bed.  A good test is if the bedding is becoming compacted and you have to turn it more often (you are turning your bedding, aren't you?).  The bedding will become fine and dark with castings.
  2. You're not feeding the worms enough.  Worms, like any other living organism, will be stimulated to breed and lay more eggs if there's a plentiful supply of good, nutritious food.

    Solution:  Feed your worms all they can eat. Duh!
  3. You're feeding your worms too much.  Grain.  Too much grain can make your worm bedding go acid and will make your worms sick.  Conversely, though, sometimes when worms get sick they start laying lots of eggs.  Go figure.

    Solution:  Only feed as much grain as your worms can eat in a day and make sure it is finely ground.  Clean off any uneaten grain before turning the bedding or adding more grain.  Feed organic material and manures for safer feeding.
  4. The worms are unhappy.  If it's too noisy, too hot, too cold, too...something, worms will be unhappy and an unhappy worm is not breeding.  They're dying and they're crawling.

    Solution:  Make sure you worm growing environment is conducive to worm breeding and worm happiness.

    A complete guide on how to make your worms happy to breed and grow :

Worm Farming Manual

More answers and solutions to this and other worm growing and breeding problems are included in my Worm Farm Guide (click to see what's in it.)

If you want to improve on your worm breeding, fattening and selling, order your copy today.  It's available in a download or hard copy version.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Vermiculture Products To Sell

Worm Farming Products

What Products Are Produced From Worm Farming?

You can sell more than just worms in you worm farming business. There are basically five products produced from Vermiculture (the raising of worms) or worm farming. I've arranged them here from highest price to lowest:

  1. Worm Capsules or Cocoons
  2. Worms
  3. Worm Castings
  4. Garden Culture
  5. Vermicompost

Worm Capsules or Cocoons

These capsules or cocoons are excreted by the earthworm and contain worm eggs.  Very precious indeed.  I caution you to hang onto your worm capsules until you have more worms than you know what to do with. They are literally the future of your worm farm.  They grow your business and are what make worm farming "sustainable".

Eventually, if you're good at worm farming, you will begin to have more worm capsules than you need and you can part with them.  But at a price.  I'm talking $200-350 dollars a pound.  At least.

Gardeners can add the cocoons to their garden soil to improve it.  Aspiring worm farmers like yourself can add worm capsules to worm beds and get a jump start on their worm farming business. You can do the same if you can find a worm farmer willing to sell you some.  Don't look at me.

My Worm Farm Manual has detailed instructions on how to harvest worm cocoons from your worm beds.


Worm Farm Manual

Worm farming requires specialized knowledge to be successful.  Avoid expensive mistakes and get your worm farm started right. 

Order a download or hard copy and get going today.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Increase Worm Farming Profits

Make More Money With Your Worm Farm Business

This series of posts covers the biggest reason for failure in the worm farming business.
Next up:  #7 Not Delegating.
  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
Reasons for business failures are the same for most any kind of business.  The worm growing business is no exception.  Most entrepreneurs commit the same mistake, especially at start-up: Trying to do everything yourself.

You try to do it all because (a.) you can't afford to hire help and (b.) you don't trust anybody else to do it right.

As with most start-up businesses, in the beginning you usually have more time than money.  It's practical to do most everything yourself - if you have the expertise - to save money.  You save money on labor until you get some cash flow going.

Making More Money

You do  reach a point, however, when you start making some money.  Your worm business is growing so you build more beds.Then you have more worms to take care of and you have more customers to serve, yada yada yada.

At this point, you can ask yourself  "Is the profit I'm making now enough? Or do I want to take it to the next level?"  You need to weigh the pro's and con's of increasing your business.  Being a one-man show has it's advantages:  It's infinitely simpler when you are the only employee. And you can make a good living running your worm farm by yourself or with family members.

But, making more money often means expanding.  One option at first is to contract someone to help out with the extra work.  No complicated bookkeeping to keep up with, only a 1099 at the end of the year.  When you go big-time, you can hire employees and a bookkeeper.  At first, this option works great. Canvas the neighborhood for teens or retiree's who are looking for part-time work.  They'll be your most economical labor source.  The youngsters are energetic and the elders are conscientious.

Another aspect of delegating is to recognize when you don't have the expertise for different aspects of your business.  If you don't know which end of a hammer to use, you should hire someone with carpenter skills to build any worm beds and shelters you may need.  Or, find containers that can serve as worm beds and use existing sheds and structures to protect them.  What I saying is, don't try to learn carpentry if you don't have the skill-set.

Don't try to be a web-master if you can't even send an email.  Hire the local geek or a professional to put up your website.  Focusing on what you do best or have a knack for  will save you time and money in the long run.

Finally, don't be one of those people who simply must do everything themselves because nobody can do it as good or cares as much as you do.  Let go and allow someone else to help you if they are willing helps your business grow quicker and your profits grow faster.

A Word Of Caution

The only caution I have is that when it comes to your worms - their feeding, watering and bedding - you must make sure the person you are training understands what to do and when to do it.  Worms are living creatures and can be killed if these fundamentals are not done properly.  Take the time to explain your procedures and make sure your help understands before turning over any of the day to day care of your precious worms.  I don't recommend leaving the worm care to anyone lightly.  But as far as other chores, selling, bookkeeping, website management, shipping, order taking, etc. - turn some of this over to someone else so that you have more time to market and grow your worms for a more profitable worm farm business.

Get Your Worm Farm Business Started Right

How to increase your worm farm profits by solving these problems.

If you haven't started your worm farm business yet or you want to improve your business and start making more money,  check out my Worm Farm Manual download or hard-copy.

I wrote it so others won't have to learn the hard way like I did.  It probably has answers to problems you may be struggling with.  Like feeding worms, breeding worms, and selling worms.

Click here to order your copy today!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Market Your Earthworms

Sell Your Worms!

Let's return to  my series Worm Farming Problems and how to get started worm farming right.  This post covers #6: Poor Marketing.
  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
There's no doubt about it.  Once you give your worms what they need to reproduce and keep them safe and happy, you will very soon be up to your armpits in earthworms.  You will continue to have worms up to your armpits if you don't do the next single most important thing in a worm farm (or any) business: Market your product.

Marketing simple means getting the word out that you have worms, getting the word out to the right people, knowing where to get the word out, and knowing the right words to get out. You have to find the buyers, sell those buyers, and sell those buyers what they need.

You can sell your worms locally and you can sell them online.  You may find most of your sales are online once you get a website up and traffic flowing.  This can take a little time, but it will probably be the biggest source of sales.  However, selling locally may be your best market, depending on where you live.

Market Your Worms As Fish Bait

If you live in an area with lots of lake and waterways with good fishing, you have a built in customer base.  You have two ways to go.  You can sell directly to the fishermen.  You can sell to bait shops. You can do both.  O.k., that three ways.

If you sell directly to customers, the profit is much greater, but if you can't reach enough customers,  the volume may not be big enough.  If you're not good at selling or don't have the time, selling wholesale to bait shops may be your best bet.  You'll need to sell a higher volume to make a good profit, but you only have to worry about selling a few buyers.  

Once you've acquired the bait shop as a customer,   the sales are pretty automatic.  Just make sure you don't take them for granted and keep in touch regularly and give good, fast service with the best worms you can produce.  Believe me, they  need worms from a dependable source. 

Market Your Worms To Gardeners and Vermicomposters

If you live in a rual area or an urban area that has a high interest in gardening, especially organic gardening, you can sell your worms to vermicomposters.  This type of composting is very popular now as gardeners are becoming aware of the benefits.  

Individual home gardeners will be a good source, but they generally buy smaller amounts.  But you can sell to farmers and they can use lots of worms for making their own rich fertilizer.  Municipalities also are beginning to use worms to convert the tons of organic waste produced each year. Many are beginning to consider the ecologically friendly practice of vermicomposting,

Selling Worms Online

This subject requires a lot of explaining, so I will devote an entire series on setting up your website and selling worms online.  A website  is an absolute must, even if you just sell locally.  It establishes in the minds of the buying public that  you are a legitimate, serious business.  It will help you find customers and keep those customers.

More on setting up an online presence later.

Worm Farm Manual

Worm Farm Manual

If your serious about worm farming, check out my Worm Farm Manual You find many other tips and how to's that will get you started worm farming.

Why make the mistakes that puts most worm farmers out of business before they even get started?  See what you need to do and what you need NOT to do before you jump into worm farming  business.

Download e-book: Start reading your manual immediately on your computer.

Hardcopy Version:  Rather have a good ol' book in your hands?  Order the hard copy and it will be shipped to you via Priority Mail.
  • *Update:  This manual is currently on sale for 30% off on both the digital and hardcopy versions.  Hurry, sale ends 10.17.23!  Buy Now

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Winter Wonder Worm Farming Land

Cleaning up Our Worm Nightmare

Sorry about waiting so long to post the conclusion of this "Winter Worm Farming" series.  It's winter and, well, we've been busy taking care of the worms!

As luck (of the bad variety) would have it, the coldest weather of the season is coming.  Not just the season.  The coldest weather in several years.  We've been talking about raising worms in the winter.  Well, now's a good time to wrap things up.

When I left off, I had just walked in on my first "worm nightmare".  The worms were a'crawling.  The worms were a'dying.  What a mess.

Rescue The Living

First of all, I started gathering up living worms and returning them to bedding as fast as I could. Worms cannot live for very long in the open air  and uncovered.  They would continue to crawl even after being rescued, but hopefully I could get some heat on and settle them down eventually.

Any dead worms I put into a bucket for disposal.  If you've never smelled dead worms, count yourself lucky.  The smell is just awful.  So far, because of the cold temperatures, there was no decomposition. Yet.  It wouldn't be long, though.  Summer is when that particular nightmare generally happens and I'll save it for another day.  Can't wait, can you?

Luckily, the worms must not have been out for very long because I was able to rescue a large number.  The worms that had balled up were in the best shape.  By forming a close ball, the worms protect themselves from loosing moisture.  The fortunate ones were in the middle.  The outside ones were in the worst shape.

The single worms suffered the most.  Even if they were still alive, they probably wouldn't make it because of dehydration.  Sometimes, if they've been out too long, the damage is too great and they can't make a comeback.

The ones that don't make it will either be consumed by the other worms, or continue to crawl aimlessly on the top of the bedding and die there.  These worms should always be removed to avoid attracting mites.

I set out to find ways to prevent future cold weather "worm crawl" disasters. Researching and picking the brains of "old-timers",  I learned a few things about cold weather worm farming.

Preventing "Worm Crawl"

This bit of knowledge came by way of bitter experience.  I'll share with you in hopes of sparing you unnecessary suffering (both you and your worms.):

  • Have bedding in outdoor beds deep enough to provide insulation.
    Colder zones require indoor worm beds.
  • Have a heat source for indoor beds, maintain temperatures above 55  at least
  • Keep the bedding a little drier in cold weather
  • Feed less when it's cold.  The worms won't eat as much
Of course, those of you in colder zones face the most challenges from cold weather. But it is possible to grow worms most anywhere.  Be prepared to provide protection for your worms during the coldest months.  Your worms can survive, they just need a little help.

More Worm Growing Information

Avoid mistakes and benefit from someone else's experiences.  Find more worm farming how-to's and trouble shooting tips in my Worm Farm Manual