View our blog

How to create a sustainable Earthworm Farm

Did you know that the average household bin is made up of 40% food waste?

Earthworm farming (also known as vermiculture), can help you create homemade soil conditioners by converting food waste and garden cuttings into nutrient-rich natural plant food while reducing the amount of waste you throw out to landfills. Starting a commercial earthworm farm is becoming a potentially profitable and increasingly popular prospect in the South African market today.

As more business owners pivot their operations to add to the bottom line in a post-COVID global economy, some farmers have taken the bull by the horns and started their commercial worm farms to help stabilize their operations during a period of great uncertainty. Others see it as a potentially profitable side hustle that serves the same function. Today, we will explore earthworm farming, as well as how you can start your farm.

 

Earthworm Farming 

A worm bin, red wriggler earthworms, a layer of straw, wet newspaper, a jug, and kitchen waste are all you need to start a worm farm. The process begins with a layer of straw on the bottom of the worm bin, followed by the worms and a cup of kitchen waste. Place a jug underneath the tap to catch vermi-leacheate and cover the earthworms with a layer of wet newspaper when feeding them.
Always remember to keep your worm farm out of direct sunlight, when the container is full, separate the vermicompost from the worms and add the worms to the container again to repeat the process.

The worms move from the lower tray to the upper tray through the holes in this stacking system. As you feed the worms, they will migrate to where the food is, leaving their organic nutrients behind. You can produce enough earthworm castings for your garden or for sale by repeating this process. The bottom jug can also aid in the production of liquid fertilizer, which can be sold to vegetable farmers.

 

Commercial Earthworm Farming in South Africa

Earthworm farming is said to be the fastest-growing agricultural industry in the world (INDIA, 2020) and there is a definite boom in the South African market, alongside rising levels of concern around food waste, and operating more sustainably at the office, or at home.

 

How To Make a Worm Farm for Commercial Purposes

Starting a worm farm for commercial purposes usually requires you to first gain control of a smaller "farm" to learn the ropes and make mistakes with a small batch. Keep in mind that worms can live for up to four years before dying and being absorbed by the others around them.
You can consider moving to a larger area to start a larger project once you've found your way and learned the ins and outs of what works in the area where you live. This will be relatively inexpensive to complete, especially since you won't have to worry about worker costs. The worms look after themselves and do their work at all hours of the day.

 

MPACT Earthworm Farm

Getting started with the right earthworm farm can be much easier than you think.

Mpact Plastic Containers has perfected the design in such a way that it eliminates the majority of the challenges associated with a do-it-yourself alternative. These farms, made of high-quality polypropylene, can carry up to 100kg and are strong enough to last for years. If you want to start a larger farm, it's worth investing in a couple of these at the same time to reduce start-up costs even more. The objective is to add value to our customers' lives by offering smarter, sustainable solutions.

 

References

INDIA, A., 2020. How To Raise Earthworms for Easy Money. [Online]
Available at: https://toughnickel.com/starting-business/EARTHWORMS-A-NEW-AND-EASY-WAY-FOR-RAISING-WORMS-FOR-PROFIT
[Accessed 27 March 2021].