Worm crazy

desertwormmanSeptember 15, 2008

My neighbor's and family think I've gone mad. I started reading about worm farming and decided to build a wooden worm tilth composter. I now have 5 of the child sized coffins on blocks in my living room. They are seeded with African night crawlers and Super red worms.

I've been digging through the dumpster behind Sprouts stocking up on food. Now my freezer is full of what I call worm slop. It is a nice mix of melons, lettuce, tomatoes and various other treats chopped and frozen.

Today, I noticed for the first time what I believe to be worm sex. I found two worms stuck together on the surface. Would it be safe to say they will reproduce? They have been in there for a month.

The bin temperature holds from 80 to 84 degrees as I live in Phoenix Arizona. The bedding is a mixture of ground newspaper, peat moss and deodorized steer manure. The moisture level is so that if you squeeze a handful you will get maybe 5 drops of water. It seems as if there are loads of growing potential as the bins only have about 500 worms a piece in them. The bins are 4'X 2'X 12"deep.

Can anyone point out any weaknesses in what I have described ? I check them everyday hoping to see them just crawling with worms, but it hasn't happened yet.

I have been experimenting with blending KOI food and chicken egg starter mash in the blender. I actually saw them eating this mixture. They(red worms) were poking out their cute little heads and eating it. It was shortly after trying the new food that I noticed what I believe to be worm sex. Could the egg starter have anything to do with it?

Funny thing is I don't really know what I'll do with the worms if this is successful. I thought of selling them to the Sportsman's warehouse down the street. Even if I didn't make much money at it it would be kind of fun to be a businessman.

The thought of selling them brings up many more questions. What would I package them in? How much could I sell them for? Could I keep a continuous supply?

When I was a kid in Phoenix you used to be able to buy both Africans and Red wigglers anywhere. Now all you can get are Canadians and every once in a while Dillys. I think there might actually be a market here for a worm that can handle the heat a little better than those Canadians.

Is it difficult to sell worms for a profit?

I don't know what has grabbed a hold of me. I think about worms all the time now. It has become an obsession or something. Can anybody relate?

Thank you,

Jon

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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

Welcome Jon, I think we can all relate. I wouldn't bother w/ the layer mash, use what you've got, but it's not necessary. You've probably already got cocoons, give it another month they'll be teeming w/ juvies. I'd say once you have a good population talk to the tackle shops and see if they want to buy them, couldn't hurt. The main product is the castings for gardening.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 4:53AM
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leearnold(z5 In.)

DesertWormMan, Sounds like you are doing everything right. However, If those two worms have been on top of your mix for 2 months, I say, No their not mating, and No their not alive. I doesn't take that long for worms to mate.
Be patient, most likely you'll soon have plenty of worms all over the place! And with 5 bins going, you should be able to sell to your local pet store or bait shop. Just be shure to remove the larger sexually mature worms and put them back into your bin. They are your "bread and butter" you know?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 10:42AM
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