Could knowing how to start a worm farm business be a profitable bit of knowledge? It could be if the hobbies of gardening or fishing are fairly popular in your community. When there is a consistent need for bait, then there is the potential to start a lucrative business by beginning a worm farm. Don’t be fooled by the fact that we’re talking about worms here. They are animals that need to be specially cared for to survive, just like any other animal-based business.
You do have some good news as you get started. Many of the required items you’ll need to start a worm farm are considered waste products in other businesses. That means you’ll be able to obtain many of the resources that you’re going to need to get started at a discount. You might be able to pick up stuff for free if you’re willing to commit labor to the process.
1. You’ll need to be able to provide your worms with a suitable environment.
The good news here is that you can have a worm farm indoors just as easily as you can have it in the outdoors. Worms love to have temperatures that are typically in the 55-75F range. If there are high salt levels in your local soil, this could have an affect on your worms, as do local temperature levels and the pattern of the seasons.
No matter which environment you choose, make sure that you’ve got plenty of drainage from a raised platform that will help to prevent your worms from escaping. Make sure you’ve got aerial protection outside as well so birds don’t find your farm to be a tempting treat.
2. Create your worm bed.
You’ll need to have a container that is at least 8 inches deep to accommodate the worms. There should also be plenty of small holes that can help to assist with drainage, but aren’t large enough that the worms could escape from them. It can be made from plastic or from wood – whatever is cheaper in your region. Fill it with top soil, peat moss, or even sawdust if you wish.
3. You’ll need a way to dispose of the worm castings.
All animals need to go to the bathroom. Worms are no exception to this rule. Just like you’d take a plastic bag outside when you walk your dog, you’ll need to have a way of disposing of the castings that your worms create. Because they tend to settle to the bottom of the box, having a system of trays that you can interchange about once per week is usually good enough. If you don’t have a disposal system, the castings act as compost and that will degrade the quality of soil for the worms and create the foundation of disease. As an added benefit, you can sell the castings as compost if you get enough of them.
4. Only select the very best worms.
Worms react differently to the environmental conditions that are present. Some worms are better for specific environments than other worms. As you’re getting ready to get your animal inventory going, take a look at which livestock will be best suited for the conditions that you have available. Night crawlers aren’t your only option here. Based on your research, purchase the correct livestock and then begin to watch the population grow. It only takes about a month for a worm population to double.
5. Worms like to have foods that are rich in protein.
You don’t have to purchase the expensive worm feed that’s from your local co-op supplier. Any food that is rich in protein is something that worms are going to love. Vegetable scraps, chicken leftovers, fruit, and even manure are all fair game in the world of worm cuisine. If you can partner up with a local dairy farm, there’s a good chance that you’ll have access to plenty of manure for free. Horse stables are another viable option for a free food source for the worms.
6. Look for retail options.
You don’t necessarily need to sell your worms as bait, but that does tend to be the most profitable avenue. Garden supply stores, green houses, and even flower shops might be interested in selling your worm products as well. Organic farmers will always have an interest in worms since they can naturally enrich the soil.
7. Take some time to blog.
Only a small niche of people even know what vermicomposting happens to be. Even if they have heard of it, they won’t usually know how rich the worm castings tend to be when used as a fertilizer. Your expertise in this area will give you a lot of local exposure over time and help to expand the awareness that people have of your business. You might even talk to the local school district to have a show-and-tell day about worms or offer tours of your worm farm to the general public if you’ve got a fairly extensive operation going on.
8. Don’t forget about your business licenses.
Even though your business is in agriculture, you’ll still need to have business licenses that authorize you to make sales. Depending on local tax laws, if wholesale purchases that retail stores make might have sales taxes associated with them. You may also need to have regular inspections of your farm since worms are animals and are considered livestock in this situation.
If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to earn some spare cash, a worm farm built on a limited scale could make that happen. Keep in mind how quickly worms can reproduce so that you can manage the size of your farm effectively and then put on your marketing hat to get the stores and the general public in your area to recognize what you do. Once all of this comes together, you’ll know how to start a worm farm that can be successful.