About Redworms

Extensive scientific observation and research gives clues to the usefulness of earthworms. Charles Darwin studied earthworms for more than 40 years. He said, "Worms seem to be the great promoters of vegetation, perforating and loosening the soil, rendering it pervious to rains and the fibers of plants by drawing straws and stalks of leaves and twigs into it; and most of all, by throwing up such infinite numbers of lumps of earth called worm-casts, which being their excrement, is a fine manure for grain and grass...the earth without worms would soon become cold, hard-bound, and void of fermentation, and consequently sterile."

For composting, Eisenia fetida, the so-called redworm or "red wiggler-the Cadillac of worms", is particularly valuable. In nature, these composting worms tend to be highly localized, thriving in pockets of highly enriched, organic materials. They will consume a great variety of organic wastes and excrete "earthworm castings", a highly valued soil conditioner. Redworms tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions, which helps explain their adaptability to a variety of low-tech and high-tech systems and many climates.

Don't be fooled by high-priced "hybrids", buying clubs or fancy marketing schemes. ALL REDWORMS ARE SUPERWORMS.

Get the highest quality redworms for your project, large or small, at the YelmWorms.com online Store

Optimum conditions for redworms:

Top 5 Tips for starting a large-scale redworm farm

No self-respecting earthworm farmer passes up an opportunity to give his or her opinion about the business. Our opinions are based on a decade of experience.

  1. Respect the basic biology of the earthworm.
    Maintain optimum conditions; feed and moisten well, and avoid unnecessary experimentation.
  2. Keep your feed bills low.
    Use free sources of food for your earthworms, such as aged manures, leaves, shredded paper, or grocery store produce. You may even be able to earn money helping people solve waste problems.
  3. Keep it simple.
    The earthworms could care less if your bins are made of new materials or look like construction masterpieces. When you keep your system simple it will be easy to feed and water and harvest your redworms and castings.
  4. Focus on markets.
    It's easy to grow redworms. Spend less time experimenting with variations on ways of growing redworms and more time on marketing your products. Focus on the types of marketing that you enjoy (e.g., nurseries, workshops, farmers markets, mail-order, internet).
  5. Invest more in your starter population.
    The redworm population is critical. Whether for vermiculture or vermicomposting, start with as large a population as you can afford. More redworms will give you a quicker start, meaning you'll be selling more products earlier. Other improvements can come later as you sell products.

Common business applications for redworms

  • vermiculture operations (worm farms)
  • manure management on farms, especially dairy, horse, hog, and rabbit farms
  • waste reduction at schools, hospitals and other institutions
  • large-scale vermicomposting of yard debris, food waste, or biosolids
  • soil improvement on organic farms using vermicompost
  • compost tea production using vermicompost
  • redworm protein production for fish or poultry

Resources for worm farming

Bulk redworms to start your project
“Commercial Vermiculture:guidebook"
Earthworm Ecology
Stockton videos
ARR video
Continuous-flow video

 

  Copyright © 2003 Yelm Earthworm & Castings Farm