If you are like I was before I was converted to the idea of vermiculture (that is the fancy word for worm farming, specifically to use worms to make compost or use/sell as bait), you are relatively certain that there are a lot of other more pressing matters than worm farming. After all, you or I can just wait until it rains to get our worm time in, and if it is a dry season, we can go out to the garden or dig a hole basically anywhere. I was once like this. I wanted to be a farmer and was “open to trying anything,” but I sincerely hoped that I had bigger things on my horizons than breeding worms.
I first got that twinge that vermiculture could be something interesting when it would be mentioned in almost every farming book I would read. At first this was annoying, but as everyone praised it very highly, I subtly shifted it from my mental “avoid list” to my mental “look into this eventually list.” I don’t often get to that latter list, but my memory was poked one too many times to not react. I was reading a fruit tree article, and this farmer said worm farming was one of the greatest things ever (this would happen more than once a week), so I put the article down and went to google to find what I could.
Within half an hour I was an avid supporter of vermiculture and was ready to start up my own worm farm pronto! Why the sudden change? Let me tell you.
1) It is cheap and easy. I like projects that are like this. Little startup cost or work. You buy the worms, get an old bin, put manure and/or compost in when it needs it, and you are a worm farmer. A basement is the ideal temperature and conditions for year-round fun.
2) It yields something wonderful. Worm castings (that is a fancy word for poop!) make up one of the best and most nutrient rich soils possible. After a couple of months, a bin of manure and compost is transformed into super soil.
3) It is self sustaining. After your bin has been converted to super soil, you put another bin-like object next to it with an open side, put some fresh compost on top of the new one, and the worms will migrate over to the new bin in a day or so. There will be more than when you started with. That means that we can use our extra worms to expand our vermiculture system, sell the worms as live bait, or feed them to the chickens and/or tilapia, and our worm farming can go on endlessly.
Now, as much as I wanted to start worm farming right away, I have been forced to wait because we haven’t moved down to the farm yet. We hope to get started soon after we move down, but we also understand that this spring will be very busy for us, so our worm setup might have to hold off for a bit, but we are resolved to get it all set to go before the summer is out and start reaping the benefits that come from playing with worms.