There are several steps associated with creating the vermicompost. All these steps will from collecting organic waste to worm beds is relatively simple compared to many other business types. We will go through the process of screening the compost, quality and packaging of the product.
- Find Proper Facilities or property
Visit a current worm farm or vermicompost facility to give you an idea of exactly what is required and the extent of labor that is required to complete the process of vermicomposting. Finding the proper facility or grounds to operate your farm from should be thought out clearly as room to grow, store waste and other natural material used for creating the worm beds should be carefully considered.
Key Objectives for a Vermicomposting Facility
Utilizing the vermicomposting process to lower landfill waste and upscale the use with the process of vermicomposting. Minimizing waste is very environment friendly and has a great side effect that gives you a great product. I believe raising and selling the worms to be of great benefit as well. Some composters create worm tea as well. The market for this is a little more complicated and I feel more research needs to be directed toward this sector of the business.
Needed components for vermicomposting
Depending on size of your farm you may or may not need some of this equipment. Plan very extensively so start up cost will give you little room for surprises.
- Suitable shed, building, or structure to create your beds
- Composting beds
- tractor to move compost
- Wood or other material to make worm beds
- various hand tools such as shovels, rakes, water hoses
- Composting material and waste products or suitable food
- Bags and bagging materials and possible a bag filling machine
- scales, tables and lighting
- heat or cooling sources for bed areas
After the peat moss, manure or vegetation aerates or cools down enough from the natural decomposition you can place it in your worm beds. How to make worm bedding article should be read. This process is very important so you will not to kill or damage your worm population. Normal operation you would use about 2 ft thick material per bed. Making sure your beds are constructed properly for ventilation and drainage. Please see our article on creating worm beds.
After the worms have worked their magic, 30 to 40 days, the compost is usually manually harvested. separating the worms from the compost is the next stage in this process. A screen form 1/8 to 1/4 is used to separate the worms and the not eaten parts of the worm bedding. The compost is then set aside for 2 – 3 weeks to allow the worm cocoons to hatch. Then the process is repeated so you can keep the worms and add them to new or existing worm beds.
3. Quality Control
Creating test plots to grow plants will help you in managing sought after improvements going forward. This can yield you some nice tomatoes or other garden vegetable which you in turn could sell at a farmers market, or what I do, consume them in our diets. There is also a necessity for hiring the services of a lab to make sure the phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and organic content is at expected levels.
Here you need to dive into some market aspects of your business. Some marketing information can be found in our article Marketing Your Worm Farm Products. The compost bags need to be informative and well branded. Information as to application use.
As with most products a business would create, you will need a good place to store your compost. Storing around 5 ton should be ample room for immediate storage but again, try to have a facility large enough for your expected growth.
6. Customer Base
There are a number of market segments that vermicompost is already being used regularly. Having a good marketing plan to reach these desired segments that includes product design, distribution, promotional strategies and price will need to be attractive to each. Some of these market segments include:
- home gardeners
- Various educational institutions
- organic growers
- Farm Stands or markets
- garden centers
- general public
There is an increasing demand for vermicompost and if done properly can be quite lucrative. There has been reports by some vermicomposters that they cannot produce enough for one customer let alone all these market segments. Take the nurseries that supply Walmart garden center for instance. They literally need many thousands of tons just for one region of nurseries. Proper marketing and product creation would make for a great opportunity for profit. Seek out and try to retain all the information available. Be wary of a lot of individuals creating very small farms as that idea may not be sustainable. Worm bedding materials can often be the most expensive part of creating vermicompost. The Process of Vermicompost is of course more complicated that what is included in this article. Audio books, online subscription, hard copy books, and videos are all available and very low cost that will be available here (Soon to come) at PringlesWormFarm.com You could be off to creating your very own vermicomposting farm allowing you to reap the benefits of owning your own business and being your own boss.