What Do I Need?

Checklist of the items you'll need for "soil":
- Worm Bin
- Bedding
- Worms
- Worm Food (see the side bar for suggestions)
- A Worm Cultivator
- A Thermometer

You can order any or all of these items here .

Vermicomposting on the Farm

Across the nation, as farms get larger and water quality regulations get more strict, the problem of what to do with manure gets worse. The beauty of vermicomposting is that worms convert most kinds of manure into valuable worm castings.

Redworms are recognized the world over for their ability to convert organic waste materials into valuable, castings-rich vermicompost. There's no limit to the amount of manure that worms can handle. Their population grows and stabilizes according to the availability of food. And they work year-round, even in the cool, wet winters of the Northwest coast.

For farmers, the KISS plan for vermicomposting combines commonly accepted means of handling manure-the "extended windrow" method-with easy-to-use irrigation systems and modern protective row covers. Best of all, the worms do all the work. Consider these advantages of the KISS method of vermicomposting:

  • Low, low, low start-up costs--just worms and off-the-shelf supplies
  • No turning! Lay out the manure, and the worms do the work
  • Completely natural, biological process produces all-organic products
  • Use existing equipment. It's simple, no special training required
  • Increases the value of manure to $30 per cubic yard or more.

Click here for more information on Large-Scale Vermicomposting

Get your copy of the KISS Plan for On-Farm Vermicomposting

Large-Scale Vermicomposting

Besides homes and farms, the benefits of vermicomposting are available to campuses, restaurants, nurseries and to soil businesses. For some excellent examples of small to large scale, and low-tech to high-tech enterprises, explore these case studies.

Let us help you develop and profitable vermicomposting project or business. Our consulting services draw on years of experience in organic resource management, we work with clients to develop practical solutions. This means finding the right balance of materials and methods to meet your goals. We match our knowledge of markets with proven approaches and creative thinking to find the best solutions.

The Business of Worms...

Comparing a large number of worm-related businesses, it is possible to categorize them according to three basic models-the classic worm farm, the home vermicomposting business, and the resource recovery vermicomposting operation. Each one varies to the extent that it emphasizes production and sales of worms, supplies, or castings.

First, the classic worm farm is primarily concerned with vermiculture, growing and raising earthworms for the huge fishing bait markets, as well as for home gardeners and farmers. Worm farms are often developed around a consistent source of animal manure. Today, the classic worm farm is still a thriving part of the American economy. Worm farms are often small-scale, part-time hobby farms-second income sources for the farmer. The Yelm Earthworm & Castings Farm is one of the largest vermiculture worm farms in North America.

Second, the increasing interest in home vermicomposting has given rise to another category of worm enterprise whose focus is on marketing worms, worm bins, kits, tools and educational materials for small-scale vermicomposting.

Third, vermicomposting for resource recovery, that is recycling of manure, yard and garden debris, food materials, and biosolids, is one of the fastest growing sectors of the industry. Vermicomposting projects may be developed on-site to manage "organic wastes" from a campus or other institution. As a commercial enterprise, vermicomposting operations depend on receiving revenue for managing the wastes (i.e., tip fees) and for the resulting vermicompost.

Want to develop a commercial worm business? Visit our Worm Store to find the materials to help.

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