Hi, I just bought your book "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget."
I'm evaluating the business of taking garden waist out and charge for this. My problem is how to reduce this waist fast and one idea is using worms.
So the questions are: Is ok to give grass as food for worms? How fast they will eat it?
Let say how fast the will compost worms eat 1 cubic meter of grass?
Of course it will depend on the amount of worms that are feeding and recycling in their worm farms. So this is the question, how many worms and worm space will I need to convert 1 cubic meter of grass into humus?
Hallo thank you for purchasing my book "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget." I thrust that if will help you like many of those that bought the book before you to start recycling organic waste with the help of earthworms and generate a handsome income from it!
Let me answer your questions.
Worms eat basically anything that is an organic material which is in the process of decomposing. This includes as well grass and other garden waste. It is difficult to predict how long worms will take to eat and recycle 1 cubic meter of grass because if it is loosely piled up it might weigh much less than once its pressed and compacted. So it is better to estimate the weight of organic material worms can consume and recycle.
Although grass can be fed to worms freshly cut it is in most instances better to first compost the grass before you feed it to the worms. This takes usually only a couple of weeks and you will find a good method of composting in my book. The composting process will already reduce the volume of your grass cuttings and other organic materials dramatically before the worms will convert it into nutrient rich worm castings / worm humus.
It is as well important to remember that grass cuttings once stacked in big piles can heat up to 80 degrees Celsius and could endanger worms that are in that pile. However once the grass has been through this heat stage it can be fed to the worms without any problems. (Take note that the grass should be free of pesticides)
Worms can eat about half their body weight daily depending on the consistency of the food they are offered. The softer, smaller and moist the food is the faster they will consume it.
To give you an idea about the quantities of grass and other organic materials have a look at the figures below.
24000 worms can recycle and convert about 1000 kg of grass per year and will require less than one square meter space.
2 million worms can recycle and convert about 1000 kg of grass per month and will require 200 square meters of space.
Keep in mind the the above figures are not cast in stone and depend on a few variables including state of food, moisture levels and temperatures inside the worm farms.
I hope this information helps you to get your worm business of the ground.
Kind regards and happy worming.
Stephan Koppert Author of "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget."