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Does anyone use Dave Monroe's worm bed and methods

Posted by susieeg54 none (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 27, 12 at 11:29

We are new to raising worms. We have recently purchased a heated fiberglass worm bed from Dave Monroe and are attempting to use his methods of raising worms. We would like to be able to compare notes and ask questions of someone who is using his equipment and method. We need some good advice.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Does anyone use Dave Monroe's worm bed and methods

Dave Monroe used to operate under the name VermiPlex. In April 1999 Washington State issued a cease and desist order against Vermiplex for offering business opportunities in a manner that violated Washington State law. VermiPlex shut down in March 2003.

Dave Monroe now operates under the name Ecology Technology. It looks like neither his bin nor his business practices have changed. In the past nearly all buy-back schemes were money losers for the people who entered into agreements with the parent company.

Dave claims that under ideal conditions (note that the conditions must be IDEAL), one worm can produce 16 worms in one month. I don't know whether that is true, but in vermiculture we don't count worms; we weigh them. 16 baby worms are not the same as 16 mature breeders. In ideal conditions worms will double in biomass every 3 months. So instead of a 1600% increase per month, as Dave claims, you could experience a 1600% increase per YEAR. And that assumes that you don't sell any worms, and your space and feed stock also increase by 1600% per year, since worms will stop breeding when space and food are no longer available.

So, let's do some math.

Your initial 5 lb of worms can grow to 80 lb in one year, provided you have the space. Worms take approximately 1 to 2 lbs per square foot of surface area. To to keep 80 lbs of worms, you will need at least 2, and probably 3 Ecology Technology bins. Assuming you don't want to lose you breeding stock, you will be able to sell about 20 lbs of worms per month. Ecology Technology will buy them back for $10.00 per lb. You will be grossing $200 per month, but your initial $2,400 investment will not be adequate to maintain your worm population. You will also need to supply your worms with 7 to 15 tons of feedstock and bedding per year. Deduct from your gross earnings the cost of shipping worms and obtaining feed and bedding.

I don't know anything about Dave Monroe's methods, but I suspect that using his bin is not really any different from using any other bin. He claims that there are 5 conditions which must be controlled to achieve maximum worm growth, but his bin only attempts to control one of these, and then only if the ambient temperature does not get too hot, since his bins have no mechanism to cool an overheated bin.

More thoughts

I thought I saw something on the Ecology Technology site about selling your worms after 6 months. I am looking for it now, but can't find it. In any case, if you start to sell after 6 months, you should have about 20 lb of worms, and you will not want to sell more than 5 lb per month to maintain your breeding stock. 20 lb of worms can easily live in a single ET bin.

You will produce a lot of vermicast, which may be marketable. You will have to find your own market, then have a way to package and transport it. The quality of vermicast is variable, and depends on the feedstock and how well it has been processed by the worms.

RE: Does anyone use Dave Monroe's worm bed and methods

I am currently looking into the possibility of starting a small worm farm and am curious about Ecology Technology's start up package and the earning potential of a worm farm. Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated.

RE: Does anyone use Dave Monroe's worm bed and methods

DarcyB for a very nice answer to your question please refer to the second post in this thread by sbryce on Mon, Feb 27, 12 at 13:46. Here, I'll paraphrase: Ecology Technology is run by the same person who used to own Vermiplex. Vermiplex, a company that looks eerily similar to Ecology Technology was issued a cease and desist order for offering business opportunities in a manner that violated Washington State law. It looks like neither (the company's owner's) bin nor his business practices have changed. In the past nearly all buy-back schemes were money losers for the people who entered into agreements with the parent company. In short, the reports of purchased worm system earning potential appear to be greatly exaggerated.

May I suggest starting a micro trial run to see how you like it. Many of us here have lost our first purchase of worms. One thing we know is Dead Worms Smell Bad!

RE: Does anyone use Dave Monroe's worm bed and methods

susieeg54 back in 2005, I established and ran a website (, no longer functional) for the sole purpose of warning the public regarding fraudulent and misleading business opportunities and other scams. At that time, people weren't aware of how to put those running such endeavors out of business, but thanks to getting them organized and learning where and how to file complaints, various states' attorney generals, the FTC and DOJ have aggressively moved in recent years to protect the public and have put these people out of business and into prison. And based solely on sbryce's initial reply, it sounds like that's what you're most likely involved with. So do some research on "Operation Bottom Dollar" and Operation Lost Opportunity" to see what people recently charged and convicted in those cases did. And if any of that applies in your situation, I'd bring that to Mr. Monroe's attention and request a full refund. And if he doesn't do that, you can file a mail fraud complaint, which will be investigated and then referred to the FTC, who will then refer the case to the DOJ for criminal prosecution if he has violated the law (which he did if he didn't provide you with the required documentation regarding actual "realized" (and not just "potential") profits as referred to in the 11/15/12 news release regarding the most recent actions taken in Operation Lost Opportunity).
Thanks to the way websites are archived, you can also learn a lot about fraudulent business opportunities at this link to my former website. Fortunately, most of the individuals involved in those fraudulent business opportunities have entered into plea agreements or have been convicted, and are now paying restitution, in prison or awaiting trial and/or sentencing. So I was truly surprised to see that anyone, especially after previously being shut down, is still offering anything less than a legitimate business opportunities since it will most likely eventually put them in prison. Please let me know if you need additional information or help and I'll be glad to do what I can in that regard; even though I no longer maintain the contact I used to with state and federal law enforcement agencies and there's now a lot of information available on the FTC website about filing fraudulent business opportunity complaints. And I wish you well in your vermicomposting endeavors--it's lots of fun, and with time and patience, probably has the potential to supplement your income a bit; though it sounds like your initial investment was a lot more than necesary.
BB in FL

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