THREE TREES FARM
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much organic material do earthworms eat daily?
A. Earthworms will generally eat their own weight daily. Half of everything they eat turns into viable plant food(earthworm castings) which is directly assimilated.
Q. How many earthworms are there per pound?
A. The average pound of red worms will contain between 800 - 1200 earthworms at various stages of development.
Q. What kinds of worms are there?
A. There a number of species of worms depending on climate, location and soil conditions. The main types that we are focused on are EISENIA foetida or Red Worm (we call our worms Red Wigglers) and EISENIA ANDREI, known as the Red Tiger which has the same performance characteristics as E. foetida. Most commercial cultures contain a mixture of both species, and growers do not seperate them. For more reference about different species please visit our online GLOSSARY and look for long, hard to pronounce words that are in italic.
Q. Will an earthworm die if you cut it in half?
A. Yes and ouch!!
Q. What is involved in starting an earthworm farm?
A. An earthworm farm requires many skills, the most important being, patience. The worms cannot be rushed in their process. They need to feel comfortable and have a stable and caring environment to perform their best. The same is true whether you are raising the worms to produce the absolutely best soil available or for bait. The best thing to do is to visit other operations(soil or bait) and see how folks are interacting with worms and getting the kind of results that are expected. For those wanting more here are the hard, cold facts. Ideally one should have one half acre of land/well drained soil/an excellent water source/a manure source/lots of shade/a good starter batch of worms(we recommend starting with 20 pounds)/excellent food source(organic material)/knowledge of how to run a farm/knowledge of how to run a business/learn all the business, environmental and regulatory issues in your area/learn everything you can about the commercial fertilizer industry(that's who you are competing with)/learn about your immediate competitors and global competitors in the worm industry....most importantly....patience. This is not a quick rich scheme...this takes time and lots of effort... so take it a day at a time and have fun.
Q. Could I use farm grown worms in an outdoor garden or will they not survive in the wild?
A. The Redworm is a very aggressive worm in that if a quality food source is available and the worm can get to it the worm will multiply and prosper.
Q. What is Worm Tea?
A. Worm Tea is the by product that is produced from the worm bin(the reason for the spigot at the bottom of the bin...see Worm-A-Rama). The worm bin needs to be watered regularly(remember to be conservative and frequent as opposed to lots once in a while and to leave the spigot in the open position at all times and some sort of container to receive the tea). The worms drink and process this water and it mixes with the castings and drains through the bin and collects in the bottom. This tea is an excellent liquid fertilizer rich in humic acid and your potted plants will love it.
Q. May we come out and visit your Worm Farm operation?
A. Yes but please by appointment only.
Q. I am interested in purchasing the "Worm-A-Rama". How much wormcompost do I need and how many worms do I need?
A. The best way to start your endeavor is to use 3 pounds of worms(worms come in all stages from infants to adults) and there is an average of 1600 - 2400 worms per 3 pounds.
Q. Does a worm have teeth?
A. No. The mouth and pharynx are highly muscular, but they do not contain teeth.
Q. Do worms need air?
A. Worms require gaseous oxygen from the air. The oxygen diffuses across their moist skin tissue from the region of greater concentration of oxygen (the air) to that of lower concentration (inside the worm). When water has been sufficiently aerated, worms have been known to live under water for a considerable length of time. Carbon dioxide produced by the bodily processes of the worm also diffuses through its moist skin. Also moving from higher concentration to lesser concentration, carbon dioxide moves from inside the worm's body out into the surrounding bedding. A constant supply of fresh air throughout the bedding helps this desirable exchange of gases take place.
Q. How long does a worm live?
A. Most worms probably live and die within the same year. Especially in the field, most species are exposed to hazards such as dryness, weather that is too cold or too hot, lack of food, or predators. In culture, individuals of Eisenia foetida have been kept as long as four and a half years, and some Lumbricus terrestris have lived even longer.
Our Contact Information:
Three Trees Farm
73470 Abeene Lane
Cottage Grove, Oregon 97424
(9:00 AM PST to 6:00 PM PST)
(please leave an evening phone number)
© 1996 - All content developed by Chris Boissevain, owner Three Trees Farm