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My wife and I were just discussing that to date we've given away and sold a total of 5 lbs to friends and new friends (previous strangers). The sales have given us a chance to basically recoup our initial investment in the hobby.

I sold 1/2 lb for $17 to a few and 1 lb for $26 to some others. I'm out of worms right now except for about 3 lbs of my personal supply and I actually have a "waiting list" of people who want to buy them. Pretty cool.

My dream is to sell in commercial volumes eventually, but I don't have land available to make that happen.

Views: 72

Comment by Stephanie on July 29, 2010 at 9:03pm
Sounds like you're moving in the right direction. Anytime you can have a fun hobby that pays for itself you're ahead of the game. They're fun to play with and make you money at the same time...what more could you ask for. Who knows...in a year or 2 you could be the Donald Trump of worms.
Comment by bpearcy10 on July 31, 2010 at 5:49am
Steamby,

You have hit the nail on the head for a simple but workable business plan. I'm attempting to do something similar with 12 x 18 inch Sterilite containers for $4 each. The 3 buckets for $1 sound pretty good.

I also like the 24 inch by 36 inch black plastic utility bins, but compared to your example they're probably at a disadvantage besides the fact that my wife prefers lids if I'm going to be keeping them in the garage.

I found a pretty heavy-bult shelf system at Home Depot last night for $69. The thought is to stack the 2 x 3 feet (18 inch deep) utility bins two to a shelf, but they will get pretty heavy after 3 or 4 months. By the time I get 8 of them my shelf would probably collapse. As open systems, they shouldn't get too wet, but your example below has me thinking. Maybe I'll need to change my plan. I've already proven that you CAN keep worms outside in Florida because I've done it since January, so I could also implement your overflow bin idea. Hmmm...wheels are turning.

I probably would need a different food source because the live oak leaves we have in my part of Florida don't compost well at all.

It's been averaging 95-96 degrees here for the last month and that will probably continue into late September. With a fan on in my garage I can keep it in the 86-88 degree range for most of the day. I put the fan on a timer and it's on for an hour off for an hour. That seems to work pretty well for cooling things down.
Comment by bpearcy10 on July 31, 2010 at 7:01am
To illustrate Steamyb's point, I spent less than 3 minutes on Craigslist and found plenty of 5 gallon buckets with lids included for anywhere from $1 a piece to $3 a piece with lids. Without lids, I found 45 for $15 if I take them all. I'm waiting to find out what has been stored in them before I head out to get them. One batch is from a pool company and had chlorine tabs in them, so I not so sure about those. Waiting on responses on the others.

Anyone have ideas for how to clean the buckets that have had chlorine in them?
Comment by Andrew from California on July 31, 2010 at 7:38am
Call and ask fast food joints near you for the buckets. You could then say the bucket was saved from landfill.

"Many restaurants receive products in food-grade 5-gallon buckets, which cannot be reused for their original purpose. These small businesses usually use trash removal services, so the emptied buckets are thrown into their dumpsters and then into landfills. Even if a locality offers plastics recycling, it is unlikely that a fast-food manager will transport a few empty buckets to the recycling center each week. Typically, a restaurant will empty a bucket in less than two days, so thousands of buckets are discarded across the U.S. every day."

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_gallon_bucket

I haven't seen them recently, but Costco (and other such stores) used to carry Gorilla racks. My brother has some in his garage. They are extremely strong and will hold any number of worm trays you can fit on them. Search craigslist for them. Example (too bad they're in Montana):
2 Gorilla shelving units from Costco-- 4ft wide by 6ft high--5 shelves 4ft x 18" deep
$40.00 each or both for $75.00


What are the temps of the material in the tray itself? If you have 6" of VC & bedding in the tray, the temp in the material should be significantly less than ambient air temps. You may not need to use the fan.
Comment by Peter Barnard on July 31, 2010 at 7:49am
Chorine is not persistent and it breaks down quickly.
After a good rinse, I often keep pond fish in chorine buckets.
Comment by Antonia on July 31, 2010 at 7:50am
I get free buckets with lids from Dunkin Donuts. They store frosting in them. I just let them know once a week to please hold them for me, and they let me know when to pick them up. Some stores don't make their own donuts, but the ones that do go through several buckets a week. If they make donuts for several stores, they can go through dozens of buckets.
Comment by bpearcy10 on July 31, 2010 at 5:41pm
I'm with you Steamyb. Since I've got 5 plastic buckets in the garage already, I'm going to start with those. I plan to use cardboard, which I have plenty of to start, and mulch at your suggestion and maybe a little newspaper from time to time.
Comment by Pat James on October 20, 2010 at 5:00pm
Personally, I think you should be able to tell the buyer that you are selling him a pound or 1/2 pound etc. of worms, set up and going. Eventually he/she is going to get online and do a little research. He will either feel he got a great deal or got ripped off. You made a friend with the first, but the second.....
Comment by Pat James on October 20, 2010 at 5:04pm
Lately, all my buckets have holes drilled in the top only. I use my kitty litter buckets for worms and as general purpose buckets around the yard. I do not like the idea of ruining a bucket for future use. I have a pool so I am now using the 5 gallon chlorine buckets as well. I am looking at bigger bins but the buckets make a really nice modular system.

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