If you love gardening, animal husbandry, fishing or the environment, then you may have reason to raise redworms. We’ve been raising them since around 1992. Personally, I’d really miss them if I couldn’t have them. At the start, I should clarify two things: 1) Redworms are very different than regular earthworms, found in ones garden. & 2) For the things I am going to write about, redworms are vastly superior to other kinds of worms. Don’t even think of trying this with regular garden worms! So what can you do with redworms?
Produce your own fish bait.
An adult redworm is just the right size for fish bait and if one raises them, they are assured a constant, abundant source of worms. When our children lived at home, the worm box received regular visits and… we never had to worry about depleting it. Under favorable conditions redworms multiply exponentially after a worm box reaches a population of a thousand worms it will more than supply all the demands for bait of a normal family.
Did you know that Homesteading Edu has a course on raising redworms?
Another reason to raise redworms is that with them you can…
Another reason to raise redworms is to produce super organic fertilizer
You see, redworms aren’t really earthworms. More correctly they are manure worms. They are rarely found in the soil. Instead, redworms thrive in a growing medium consisting principally of organic material such as manure and compost. Commonly a redworm box will contain milled sphagnum moss mixed with copious amounts of other organic matter. I’ve used shredded paper at about 50% with the peat. Then, I feed my worms. I feed them kitchen scraps, which they convert to a rich humus. Redworm manure is called “worm castings.” Worm castings are super rich in in nutrients for plants.
If you raise redworms you can…
Operate your own environmentally friendly garbage disposal.
Kitchen scraps and the stuff one cleans out of the sink strainer are relished by redworms. Every day they consume their own weight in such refuse, rapidly turning it into really rich compost. Years ago we didn’t have chickens for some years. The redworms functioned like our chickens do now, eating almost all food stuff which would otherwise have gone into the trash. They will also consume a good deal of newspaper and cardboard. We will dampen it, laying it on the surface of their growing medium. The worms love to gather under these paper layers, and, if feed is scarce, they’ll eat them rather rapidly!
Another reason to raise redworms might be that you want to…
Take advantage of a small business opportunity.
Obviously, if one raises redworms, they might be able to sell worms for fishing. I always marvel at the price of a small number of worms in the sporting goods department. Beside this the vermiculturalist can potentially sell redworm egg cases, breeding stock and casings (fertilizer). Redworm casings bring top dollar in garden centers, and, don’t forget the one raising redworms can use them and their casings in their own garden and plant containers. If one lives near others who raise fish, amphibians or reptiles, they might find a market, selling redworms for pet food.
It’s possible to start a worm farm as small as a butter tub and redworms are easy to keep, even indoors. All necessary materials are cheap and easy to find, but I would recommend that the beginner get their start of redworms from someone who is, for sure, raising red worms and not selling worms they dug out of the garden. No other type of worm multiplies so rapidly and speeds composting like the redworm.