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Worm Density

Posted by mendopete 8/9 (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 12, 13 at 23:28

I started vermicomposting about 5 years back with a small bucket of bedrun worms given to me and a "pound" purchased. We have added chickens and a horse since and I expanded the worm-farm. Currently I have about 200 square feet of worm-beds going. I have often wondered how many worms I have, but the wormies will not fill out census forms!

We have had spring-like weather and the wormbeds are starting to get active. Today I scooped out an area about 12" x18" by 6" deep and filled a 5 gallon bucket with this bed-run vermicompost. This was deposited into a wheelbarrow, mounded up like a pyramid and placed in the sun. It took about 4 hours of light sorting in the sun to get down to a mass of worms in a ball. Exciting finish to a long slow process.
I measured my worm-ball as I have seen on done on videos....... 2 cups worms/lb...... and got 5 cups or 2.5 lbs. I currently estimate my herd at 300lbs, or 1.5 lbs per square foot.

Do not dig through your bin to see what's going on unless you have a problem. The worms were traumatized and quite unhappy. My learning experience was their loss, and there were definitely casualties. I have not done this before and probably never do it again. The bedding raked off the worm-ball was put into a 10 gallon cloth grow-bag. This material was well wet and, when the worms were dumped back on top, they totally disappeared down in less than a minute. They had a very bad day.

I'm thinking of selling some worms on craigslist locally. How much should I charge for 5 gallons of bedrun worms (approx.2.5lb) and vermicompost and cocoons? I am thinking $40?? It would be a great worm bin starter. What do you think.... too much $ or too little? I am hoping to buy some more hay!

Pete


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Worm Density

I would think $40.00 for 2.5 lbs would be a good buy. I just got 2lbs that was advertised on sale for 28.00 their normal price I believe was almost twice that. They shipped them priority mail in a dry peat mix that was just a shade over 2lbs according to the package. I thought it was kinda interesting because I was expecting something altogether different. When you mention 5 gallons that got me a wondering what your shipping method would be and how that would impact your deal.


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RE: Worm Density

No shipping will occur. I am a hohbiest and will only sell locally, come get 'em . Since I live near an isolated rural community, I probably won't sell much. There seems to be a little more interest in my castings. I got 3-4 cubic yards that need to be harvested and used. I do this by hand and its a lot of work to harvest. Last summer I sifted and sold about $600 worth. No more sifting, just dig and fluff. I am getting $2 per gallon for unsifted castings.

I got a call from a local non-profit community gardening group. They wanted some castings and worms to populate a new bin. I will go check them out and maybe donate what they need.

I also will have a new 4'x8' bin to populate at the horse arena nearby. We are members of the riders association and I am excited to expose the other members to vermicomposting. IThe bin will be lined on 3 sides with RR ties and the front will be removable fence boards.It will have 2 lids and the members can make direct deposits into the bin as needed. I guess I will see what effects occasional de-wormer will have.


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RE: Worm Density

$40 sounds about right. I would maybe try for $50 at first though. About a month and a half ago, I bought my first worms from a garden center for $25. They said it was about 1 pound of worms mixed in with compost. They gave me a 5 gallon bucket about 3/4 full. with everything it was probably about 10 pounds worth of stuff. Might have been one pound of worms or it could have been two.


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