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Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

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Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  baileyhermit on 4/30/2014, 6:40 am

Wanted to get into this as I do all organic gardening, and sell a lot of starter plants in the spring to the locals up here.  Have 2 greenhouses and 4 large raised beds.
Spend too much money on organic fertilizers for my starter plants, so thought this may help. And maybe if I have success in raising them, I can start to sell the worms or byproducts as well in a year or so. 

Any helpful hints out there? I ordered 4000 of them from Uncle Jim's rock on   and have been reading up on how to make your own bins out of large tubs and pcv tubes etc.... and what to feed them. But want to hear your experiences.

Appreciate any info ya have out there. Thanks in advance : )
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Re Anyone raising Red Wigglers?

Post  Boz on 4/30/2014, 7:00 am

Do a search for worms on this forum. You will find lots of information.
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  llama momma on 4/30/2014, 7:56 am

bailyhermit  check your pm box
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  baileyhermit on 4/30/2014, 8:21 am

thank you boz and llamamama- appreciate all the info. Lots of good info here, just did not do a search first  Embarassed
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Red Wriggler Resources

Post  JocyMc on 4/30/2014, 1:16 pm

Check out the www.wormfarmingalliance.com or [url=Redwormcomposting.com]Redwormcomposting.com[/url] for some great information and help.
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RE: anyone else having problems w/site

Post  Boz on 4/30/2014, 1:26 pm

The link to wormfarming alliance is to a subscription site, primarily for people trying to make money raising worms. This is a better site, ran by the same person. http://www.redwormcomposting.com/
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/30/2014, 4:34 pm

FWIW, I've noticed some of the people on the redwormcomposting site agree with each other that selling worms is giving away your revenue producers, and that selling worm leachate and poop makes them a lot more money.
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  llama momma on 4/30/2014, 4:59 pm

But -- once you've built up the worm herd to a finished level, then selling off the extras at current prices from 20 up to 40 dollars a pound is not bad either.
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I am...or at least I think I am...

Post  Dara on 4/30/2014, 5:20 pm

My grandson and I just started a 'bucket' bin...5 gallon buckets that formerly held dill pickles...whew! Smelled mighty interesting for a while! They live in my pantry closet. I lost quite a few worms the first week or two, probably because they were too wet and/or too much food.

I am still not sure how to tell if/when they need more food...seems it was mostly gone so I went ahead and gave them another feeding. Haven't dug around to see how they are doing this week yet. Not even sure if disturbing them is an issue.

I did spend quite a bit of time online, reading, researching...am going with freezing scraps to break down the cells, then mixing with a bit of finished compost and shredded newspaper. Hopefully they will be better able to digest it more quickly than just tossing scraps in.

I would also like to hear others' experiences. I know there are other topics/threads that have been started, but most seem to have kind of fizzled out...
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  llama momma on 4/30/2014, 5:48 pm

Buckets are not usually thought of as ideal environment, because there is not much surface area for gas exchange.  What kind of worms are in the buckets?  And do you know How many?

I let the worms tell me when to feed them, that is, when they finish it.  Overfeeding is a common problem.  If the worms don't finish the food in a week or so then ideally it can be removed to prevent an unhealthy anaerobic zone.  And you are right about being concerned with disturbing them.  They would much rather be left alone.

I freeze kitchen scraps before feeding. Also use leaves, oatmeal, corn meal, leaf mold, llama manure, shredded paper and cardboard. Occasional ground up eggshells and sprinkling of azomite.

About 2 years ago I started a thread, 1,000 worms on the way, or something like that, but its very long.   Mary Apelhoffs book, Worms eat my garbage,  is a terrific book for starters.
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  Dara on 4/30/2014, 5:53 pm

We just bought red wigglers in the fishing department at Walmart...there were supposed to be 30 per container and we only bought two..

So far, when we have peeked (the grandkids want to see them when they visit), we are able to see a few. They appear healthy and happy...

The food was mostly gone, just one 'rotten apple' that came from the grandkids yard was left, we gave them four or five the weekend before...

So about half a gallon ziploc bag of frozen/thawed scraps, plus a couple handfuls of compost, and 3 or 4 sheets of newspaper shredded then all mixed together. That was fed last Sat or Sun, not sure which...

This is a 'kid' project, so I guess if they live, yippee for all of us...if they don't, I get my closet floor back...
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  llama momma on 4/30/2014, 6:12 pm

So that's only about 60 worms.  Here is a fun comparison, the last 2,000 worms I purchased were spit into 3 bins, roughly 700 to each 18 gallon bin.  A week ago I gave them a big fist full of food and they are still working on it besides munching on the bedding of papers and cardboard.  I could easily get away with not feeding them for a few more weeks.  They would continue to break down material.  A lot of things you read tell you in my opinion to overfeed and that will give off a lot of toxic gases and kill them.  

I mean, peeking is ok from what I've learned, I peeked all the time when I first got them.  That's really good they appear healthy and happy.  It's just that they're not going to miss your visits either, lol.  

I hope your kid project goes well !
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  Dara on 4/30/2014, 6:15 pm

Oh dear...sounds like I am killing them with kindness, so to speak...guess I'll check tomorrow to see how much food is just sitting there. I did read to remove any that appeared moldy, haven't had that yet...
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  yolos on 4/30/2014, 6:24 pm

I am confused.  For some reason I thought the worms did not eat the food but ate the mold growing on the food.   thinking
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  llama momma on 4/30/2014, 6:28 pm

Dara,
Yes, each bin got a fist full of food.   Really, The best thing is to become the expert with your own system.  What works in one situation doesn't work in another, there's a lot of variables that come into play.  Temperature, moisture, oxygen levels, amount of food in the container, etc.  

I've stirred the fuzzy kind of mold right back in and nothing bad happened.  The slimy mold if that's what you mean, I think you are suppose to take that out, which come to think of it, I saw some of that this morning so I should get that out of there.  Thanks for the reminder.
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

Post  llama momma on 4/30/2014, 6:30 pm

Yolos I'm going to check on that.  I think there is a difference between the slime mold and the fuzzy stuff.

The current thinking is yes, they feed on moldy microbes but excessive mold is a problem, not regular old minor mold.  The 1st and 2nd second article on this page explains it.

http://www.redwormcomposting.com/?s=mold
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Re: Anyone raising Red Wigglers??

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