How to make a wormery to sell worms

A wormery, or worm farm, might sound like something an outdoorsy child might be interested in, but it's actually serious business. In fact, there's a growing tribe of urban farmers who have taken up worm farming to use their small space. What's more, you can even turn your kitchen waste to compost with this!

Worm farms are easy to build, and they are hugely beneficial for gardens and smallholdings as they easily turn  waste into compost that can make your soil fertile. It can be turned into compost tea, as well. It's a trendy business choice, for which you only need nothing but a pair of plastic tote bags.    

How to start a wormery business in brief

Raising and selling worms (and wormeries) can be surprisingly lucrative if you don't mind the subject matter.

It's quick and easy to get started, and with a product that doubles every couple months, you'll be neck deep in worm profits in no time.


Profitability

Ease to produce

 Time Required

What does Alex think?

Alex

Worm Guy

Worms are great for the garden and sustainability, but they're more challenging to scale up than other ventures. A wormery would make a great small scale addition to any smallholding.

The market for worms and worm farms

Worm farming can give you a side income or even become a full-time source of earning a living. You can maintain a worm composter as a way of managing organic recycling and become self-sufficient, producing your own fertilizer, selling worms to farmers, fishers, and shops as a lucrative business.

As a result of the rapid growth of organic products and industry, the demand for worm castings and products related to worms is at an all-time high. You may stick to vermicomposting, i.e., which is worm farming for recycling waste. Or, you can go for vermiculture and raise worms for profit.

When you want to earn a profit from raising worms, it should ideally be targeted towards the bait industry and the worm casting industry. Apart from these, you can always use vermicomposting in your own farm, make fertilizer, or use the method to teach young students. 

The business opportunity for wormeries

The market for worms and worm farms

Worm farming can give you a side income or even become a full-time source of earning a living. You can maintain a worm composter as a way of managing organic recycling and become self-sufficient, producing your own fertilizer, selling worms to farmers, fishers, and shops as a lucrative business.

As a result of the rapid growth of organic products and industry, the demand for worm castings and products related to worms is at an all-time high. You may stick to vermicomposting, i.e., which is worm farming for recycling waste. Or, you can go for vermiculture and raise worms for profit.

When you want to earn a profit from raising worms, it should ideally be targeted towards the bait industry and the worm casting industry. Apart from these, you can always use vermicomposting in your own farm, make fertilizer, or use the method to teach young students. 

Worm farming around the web

Worm farming has exploded as a search topic lately, increasing from around 8,000 searches per month to 22,000.

wormery search volume

This is largely due to COVID-19 quarantine, but it's also part of a larger trend.

And this lady bloody loves her worm farm. Like really loves her worm farm.

How much can you make if you start a wormery?

Worm farming for profits may seem like a strange idea if you are a newbie to this field. But it has significant potential. If you raise earthworms so that you can earn money, there is a huge market waiting for you. The community of worm growers may be expanding rapidly, but it's still moderately-sized. So, there's a lot of interdependence that you will notice among the growers. If you have enough worms, you can sell them to other worm growers. But the market is broadly divided into composters and bait-buyers.

It typically costs around £6.50 per kg to raise / produce worms, and that same kg will tpyically sell for between £30 - £60. Every kg has around 1,000 worms in it, so each worm is worth perhaps 5p each.

You also have the option of selling DIY wormery kits to clients, which can range anywhere from £70 to £350.

Even though there will be many types of customers who will come knocking at your door for worms, the primary takers will be those who want to compost and those who need worms as bait for fishing. Both these markets are quite sizable, and you'll have plenty of opportunities to make profits.

A study in 2011 showed that recreational fishing created 45000 jobs and sales of $70 B. This itself is enough to tell you the size of the market generated by fishing. You'll obviously find an expanding market for composters, including individuals and organizations, who choose sustainable paths. 

How many worms grow per acre?

This is a bit of a nonsense question, because wormeries can be packed so densely.

In the wild, you might expect to see a million worms per hectare. That's £50k worth of worms if you could somehow coax them out of the ground.

A bathtub can hold around 1,000 worms at any given time (shudder). Adult worms can produce 2-3 cocoons each week, each of which gives 20 babies, and it typically takes two months for populations to double. In time, a  1m x 1m x .5m box can produce up to a half million worms per year if it's looked after properly. 

Space won't be your limiting factor; it's much more likely to be food. While they'll eat anything, each compost worm will eat up to half its body weight per day.

Where can you sell worms

With fishers and farmers regularly buying worms as bait or for compost, you will find it easy to sell the worms that you raise in your farm. Even with new worm growers gradually stepping into the market, so will new farmers and fishers. The demand for worms is never-ending. Here are all the places where you can sell the worms you've grown: 

  • Fishing and angling shops: Your local fishing and angling shop might be looking for a steady supplier of worms, and you can take the opportunity to sell them your rapidly growing stock.

  • Local farmers: Farmers, gardeners, composters, etc., form one of the most important sections of your customer base. Wholesale buyers and individuals can be your regulars.

  • Gardeners: Raising worms will result in fertilizers, compost tea, and worm casters, all of which enrich soil to help grow plants. So, you can sell these products to gardeners, as well.

  • Online Market: E-commerce sites like Amazon sell worms and casters, and you can sell yours at great rates on such platforms. You can sell through Facebook Marketplace or your website.

You can also approach your local schools, universities, eco-friendly business organizations, and institutions, etc. to see if they need worms. The best customers will come from your location, though online sites are also majorly popular now, as they yield increased sales and price.

Get ideas like this in your inbox every week

Cost to get started selling worms and worm farms

It doesn't take much to get started. A kg of worms and a couple plastic bags is the minimal investment.

Or you can get a wormery kit like this one, and some worms and worm food like this one, and you'll be ready to get started for around £100.

What's the ROI of selling worms and wormeries?

As mentioned above, the gross ROI of worms is around 450%. Cost of production of a kg of worms is around £6.50, and they retail anywhere from £30 to £60 each. You'll spend most of your time feeding the worms and draining the waste that comes out, but what's not to love about that?


Get ideas like this in your inbox every week

Get started growing worms on your farm

Starting your own worm farm can be quite exciting, as you learn about the details of the world of the soil that you've probably never paid much attention to. This is not for everyone; the task requires hands-on caregiving - to creatures that live in the soil! But the method is quite easy, as you simply get the soil ready, introduce the worms, and get ready to make money from an eco-friendly activity.

Land required for a worm farm

One of the most important factors for the growth of worms is the aeration of the soil. Worms need to be able to breathe, and the soil that you introduce them to should have low oxygen with higher levels of carbon dioxide. However, you need to take care that the soil isn't devoid of oxygen.

Another essential feature of the kind of soil that's considered to be the best for worms is the acidity level of the soil. Generally, earthworms grow in soil with a range of 0.5 to 8.0. However, when it comes to farming worms for commercial purposes, you should ensure that the range is 6.8-7.2.

Growing conditions for a worm farm

It's no news that worms thrive in moist, dark places. The best range of temperatures for them to breed and thrive is between 55 F and 85 F. In case of commercial production, it's best to maintain a temperature range of 60 F to 80 F. for beds, the temperature should not preferably go beyond 70 F.

It is also essential to provide a moist environment for the worms. But you need to strike the right balance, as the soil should be neither too soggy, nor remain too dry. You can make your own bed using cardboards and newspapers. It's a good idea to place the setup in your basement.

How long does it take to grow and harvest worms

Based on the living conditions, it can take six months or more for worms to become fully-grown adults. But it depends on the type of worm and the growing environment. The red earthworm, which matures in 179 days, has one of the longest life spans, living for around 700 days, and producing around 79-106 cocoons during this period. They vary in length from 1 inch to 4 inches after maturity.

What you need to get started growing worms

At the time of setting up a worm farm, you essentially need to start with a few basic things:

  • Worms: You can't begin worm farming without worms. Whether you live in the US of the UK, they will be shipped to your doorstep for your convenience.  
  • Worm farming container: This is the container with drainage that is turned into a wormery. Once again, you can get one shipped anywhere in the US and the UK.  
  • Worm food: Worm food, available everywhere in the US and the UK, is essential in the entire process of worm farming to help the worms grow.

The idea is to layer the container with some worm food, along with some worms. If you want to take this to an advanced level, you can try stacking, and then have the containers rotated. If you wish to collect the worm tea seeping out through the drainage holes, you can place a tray below.

Worm farming can be fun and creative, and you will take a step closer to understanding the beauty of nature and even its smallest creations. With this method, you can also have an earning path that's environmentally friendly. The demand for worms and compost cannot easily be satiated, and you will always have plenty of opportunities.   

Get ideas like this in your inbox every week

Get started selling

Set up a website

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the sites out there that specialise in worm sales don't look very nice. So it won't be hard for you to beat them. As ever, we recommend Carrd.co, because it's so easy. You can sign up here. For a get started guide, you can have a look here.

If you'd like some help with this, we'll happily build out a site and social presence for you. Just click here.

Pick a name

If you'd like to get yourself a new domain name for your site, we recommend Namecheap. It's, well, the cheapest!

If you don't like the look of anything you find there, you can click here to search for your own.

Get set up on Amazon

Amazon is full of worms, worm food, and wormeries, so you'll want to make sure to sign up there.


Ready to get started? We can help

We'll build a website for your smallholding or hobby farm

If you want to make more money from your smallholding or  hobby farm but don't want to deal with any of the techy bits, we can help build you a website, set up your social pages, and make sure your analytics are buttoned up.. 

Focus on your land, not your website.

Loved this? Spread the word


Related posts

Start a Quad Bike Tour Business on your Farm

Read More

Start an Axe Throwing Business

Read More

How to make money from Glamping

Read More

How to make money from Glamping

Read More
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>