How to start a commercial worm farm

Written by jonah morrissey
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How to start a commercial worm farm
Commercial worm farms can be run from a small space in your home. (worms image by Adrian Hillman from Fotolia.com)

Worm farms have become increasingly more common due to the fact that more people are using worms for composting. Red worms, or composting worms, are now commercially farmed. Starting a commercial worm farm is not difficult as it does not require the amount of space that a typical farm would require. In fact, a commercial worm farm can be run out of a small garage in the middle of a city.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Business plan
  • Legal and tax documents
  • Worm bins
  • Worm supply
  • Interactive e-commerce website
  • Shipping supplies

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Research the commercial worm market carefully. Look at ways that you can compete. Develop a marketing strategy for selling your worms online. Write a detailed business plan based on your research. Include an analysis of the market and competition, a marketing plan, financial documents, and other forms necessary to establish your worm farm. Focus your marketing online since this will be how you sell your worms.

  2. 2

    Fill out any legal and tax documents necessary to establish your business. File the forms with local, state, and federal authorities. Visit your local business association for assistance with this process. Consult an accountant to determine if there are special considerations for conducting a business online.

  3. 3

    Set up an area for your commercial worm farm. A location that does not get too hot or cold will be ideal. A garage or basement are good options for operating a commercial worm farm from your home. You can purchase worm bins online. Get more than what you will need initially to be prepared for the growth of your worm population. Make a rack system to keep your bins on.

  4. 4

    Purchase your start-up population of worms from an established worm farm. Select red worms, which are also called red wigglers or composting worms. This is the most marketable type of worm because many people use them for composting. You will need approximately 1,000 red worms to start your business. Worms multiply quickly, so you will be able to start selling your worms within a few weeks to a month.

  5. 5

    Shipping worms can be a sensitive task. Acquire the necessary shipping supplies, including priority shipping boxes, breathable cloth bags and worm bedding. Worms must be shipped priority mail since they will not have much moisture or bedding to sustain them for standard shipping times. Place the worms into a breathable cloth bag and damp bedding. Place the bag into a priority shipping box. Notify the customer when to expect the worms so that the box won't be left sitting in the hot sun or freezing cold.

  6. 6

    Work with a web designer to design an interactive e-commerce website. Set up a secure site that will allow customers to purchase the worms through standard payment methods. Create a blog to provide information and tips about worms and worm composting, or "vermicomposting." Design a forum to establish an active community on your website.

Tips and warnings

  • Collect and sell the worm castings or manure. A by-product of the farm, it is a rich organic matter that will provide fertiliser to plants. Gardeners covet these worm castings.
  • Be sure to have a policy in place regarding the health of your worms on arrival and make no guarantees on how long they will live. If the worms arrive dead, provide a refund, but make it clear that if they arrive alive, it is the customer's responsibility to keep them alive.

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