Worms are cool now.
With the move towards regenerative agriculture, vastly increased synthetic fertilizer costs, and the growing number of states and countries that have legalized cannabis, the world of vermiculture and vermicomposting is enjoying renewed attention.
There is huge opportunity but also a huge risk if you don't know what's in front of you. We created this page to help arm you with the best information as you explore vermiculture or vermicomposting as a business.
Use this Page Like a Toolbox
Take what you need. Leave what you don’t.
Some of you are just exploring. Others are ready to take the plunge. I want to help you reach a situation where you are investing rather than risking your time and money.
In no case should you be putting your financial security at risk on a whim.
Note: While I may financially benefit if you choose some of the paid tools on this page like books, memberships, or product sales, I pledge to NOT lead you into a situation for which I believe you are unprepared.
What's in This Worm Farm Business Resource Guide
What Do You Want to Do?
- Small-scale worm castings sales
- Castings sales for soil blenders
- Make castings for self-use
- Serve the cannabis industry
- Grow worms for sale
- Promote environmental stewardship
- Create products for the vermicomposting industry
Books you have to read and conferences you need to attend!
Steve wrote this helpful article to give you the real poop on the vermiculture and vermicomposting industry.
Bottom line, he'll give you food for thought on examining your motivations and what to consider if you charge ahead with your plans.
The On Farm Manual of Vermicomposting is an extremely valuable free resource, detailing the various methods of vermicomposting, sources of feedstocks and bedding, efficacy of vermicompost and more.
Full of academic citation, familiarity with this work by Glenn Munroe of the Organic Agriculture Center of Canada is a must!
The Manual of On Farm Vermicomposting and Vermiculture covers the following topics:
- The Basics of Working With Worms
- An Overview of Vermicomposting Systems
- On Farm Vermiculture
- The Value of Vermicompost
- Potential Income Diversification
I consider this to be one of the most valuable free resources for the vermicomposter looking to scale up a hobby-level operation or explore which vermicomposting method is appropriate to your situation.
Don't invent the wheel! Rather, learn about the practical experience of others with The Worm Farmer's Handbook written by North Carolina State University Extension Specialist Rhonda Sherman.
Rhonda's book was released in late-2018 and is already considered a must-read among those who strive for a larger-scale vermicomposting operation.
Packed with information, yet very readable, The Worm Farmer's Handbook is a practical guide to starting and operating a vermicomposting and vermiculture operation beyond the hobby level.
Drawing on interviews with dozens of mid- to large-scale operators around the world, Rhonda details how to
- find the right production system
- choose the right feedstock
- avoid common pitfalls
- find and grow markets for your products & more
The one-of-a-kind NCSU Vermiculture Conference is a gathering of academics, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Hosted by my friend Rhonda Sherman, this event's incredible value is its combination of insightful lectures and indispensible networking opportunities.
From lectures by leading academic Dr. Norman Arancon to the Worm Farm's Mark Purser to the ample social opportunities after-hours to hang out with attendees and speakers alike, this conference is not to be missed.
For me, it's not just about networking with people who can do you favors. It's about creating real relationships with people in a very small industry.
If you are willing to engage with others, this event can't be missed!
Livestream access may be purchased as well.
Earn a profit now with good margins and fast, free shipping.
Get reseller discounts on the Urban Worm Bag, coco coir, jute blankets, and bundles. Most of our resellers use our drop ship program to allow you to grow your business without holding any of our inventory.
Bulk and wholesale purchases are available too if you want to carry our products locally!
Online store owners using Shopify can also synchronize our products via a Shopify app called Syncio. When an order is created on your store, we fulfill it automatically and bill you at the beginning of the next month.
From small to big! We can analyze your soil, compost, or castings content for healthy biology, consult on smaller-scale composting and vermicomposting projects, or help design your large project.
Here's what you can expect from a Business Consultation with Steve.
- An initial questionnaire to learn about your specific situation
- a 1-hour Zoom call
- a detailed post-call report with recommendations on growing your business.
Steve has grown Urban Worm into 7-figures of revenue annually with continued growth, learning some hard lessons along the way.
Troy will bring his years of experience to the table for you. A Soil Food Web-trained expert, Troy worked alongside Dr Elaine Ingham at the Rodale Institute as their compost specialist.
The Urban Worm "Soil Nerd" can help you go organic, replacing synthetic fertilizer with organic matter and beneficial microbiology.
Let Troy analyze your soil, compost, or castings. He'll give you a report on bacteria, fungi, nematodes, protozoa, and other microscopic indicators of soil health. You soil needs to be optimized for your specific use; for example, cannabis has different needs than trees and shrubs.
Troy's Soil Biology Report (see sample here) also gives you a thoughtful, detailed recommendation on how to optimize your process to produce the best compost or vermicompost for your specific use case.
Whether it's golf course turf management, municipal or on-farm composting or a worm castings production project, we can help.
We don't claim to know it all, but we can bring in experts like Aldea Verde's Francisco Niembro, aerated static pile composting experts or renowned turf management pros to help consult on your job.
Note: These projects typically require on-site visits and detailed planning, so please ensure you have a startup budget to account for consulting costs.
Resell or Grow Your Own Stock
Some worm customers may only be looking for a few dozen at a time.
Buying in bulk and reselling in smaller quantities can be a very profitable business strategy. For bait worms, European Nightcrawlers are a great choice.
You may also be trying to grow your own vermicomposting operation. If so, buying in bulk can help you leap months forward in terms of vermicomposting ability instead of trying to get your existing worms to reproduce faster.
Which Breed Should You Choose?
Buy bulk Red Wigglers if your only objective is vermicomposting or if your customers want a smaller composting worm.
Buy European Nightcrawlers if you want a dual-purpose composting and bait worm. These will also have much better species purity.
We also have pure adult African Nightcrawlers at an excellent price available on this site!
Maybe you want to start selling but you don't have a big operation. And maybe you're selling more than you can produce yourself.
If so, we can supply you with inexpensive worm castings without sacrificing quality. These worm castings come with standard compost tests from A&L Great Lakes Laboratory and biological analysis results from Earthfort that show excellent germination results with balanced biomass between bacteria and fungi.
Bulk worm castings are available from single totes (1000 to 2250 lbs) or full truckloads with over 20 tons of rich worm castings.
This isn't meant to take away from your dreams of creating your own worm castings.
Rather, consider our castings a bridge until you can sell your own.
You have a business but nobody knows you're here! Get nearly instant visibility on the web for your small business and piggyback on the authority of the Urban Worm Company's web presence.
Your Urban Worm Network listing is a page on my website and you can get noticed by folks in your area.
Signup is simple. And free.
The Worm Farming Alliance is a knowledge-sharing group.
Via our secret Facebook Group, we discuss topics that normally go beyond the hobby level, seeking and offering business help. It's a friendlygroup and membership allows for a higher-level conversation than you might get with free Facebook Groups or forums.
Started by Red Worm Composting's Bentley Christie, WFA is a wonderful networking resources for current or future "vermi-preneurs!"
Owner, Red Worm Composting