Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm Featured in Sports Section of the Washington Post

The Washington Post ran an article about the family that owns and operates Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. Placed in the Sports section, Roman Stubbs’ article analyzed football player David Shaw, whose father Jim Shaw started selling worms 40 years ago. Jim grew up on a farm in Connecticut. He started raising fishing worms from the age of 8, at first for pocket money. Eventually, worm farming grew into a full-time business. Jim played football for Colgate, and moved to his own farm in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania. He bred Red Worms for composting, and European Night Crawlers for aeration. All of these made good fishing worms. He added mealworms for pet owners, bird

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How to Get Your Worm Composting Bin Ready in the Spring

compost in greenhouse

As Spring approaches, your vermicomposting bin will start to need some attention. Take a look inside your compost bin. You should see dark, crumbly “dirt” – this is worm castings. It’s the perfect fertilizer for your plants. Here are the steps you should take to get your vermicomposting bin ready in the Spring. Time It Dig around. If you see a significant amount of undigested scraps in the bin, you may need to give your worms more time to break things down. This is especially true for outdoor bins, because composting slows down significantly in cold temperatures. Composting worms do best above 55 degrees. If there are undigested food scraps, and you desperately need completed compost now, you can harvest whatever completed compost is in there. Harvest Completed Compost Most of the worms, undigested food scraps, sticks,

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What Is Worm Composting And How Do I Do It?

  Worm composting also known as vermicomposting  is the use of earthworms to convert organic waste into fertilizer. If you are already an avid composter then transitioning over to worm composting should be a relatively easy task. But even if you have never heard the term vermicomposting and barely understand composting, you can still vermicompost! Just follow along to see how easy it really can be!   In order to get started composting with worms you will need a few things: bin/container/composter/enclosed space bedding moisture/proper PH temperature control compostable matter worms   The first thing you will want to figure out when it comes to worm composting is where you are going to do all of this. Many people will start off with a simple plastic bin which you can pretty much get at any retail or hardware store. You will want to drill holes in the bin for proper ventilation and drainage. The bin can range in size based off  your composting needs but should be a depth of at least 6 inches for the worms. People have also used containers such as old bathtubs or freezers. However, if you have the money and would like a simple composter for your worms to do their thing you can invest in a composter specifically designed for vermicomposting. Popular composters include the Worm Factory 360 and the Can-O-Worms. Both of which are available through our site. These composters are great because they come with everything you need to set up your …

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Which Type of Worm Do I Need?

A worm is a worm is a worm. Or not! You may not have thought about it, but there are lots of types of worms out there. Here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we sell three main types of worms: Red Wigglers for composting; Super Reds for composting, releasing into the soil and fishing; and live Mealworms for animal feed. How do you choose which type of worm to buy? Well, it depends on what you want do with them. Choose Red Wigglers for Composting If you are composting, you should be thinking about buying Uncle Jim’s Red Wigglers. Red wigglers are Uncle Jim’s flagship worm–a small but mighty powerhouse when it comes to chewing through your compostable waste. Red wigglers are only about 1-3 inches long and the diameter of a pencil lead, but they can easily turn piles of vegetable scraps into excellent garden fertilizer. Red Wigglers don’t tend to dig deep–they are adapted to chewing up vegetable matter and animal manure in the top layer of soil. So being in a compost bin where their bedding and food scraps are only a few inches deep doesn’t offend them. They are also right at home processing bedding and manure from herbivores, such as rabbits. If you are composting indoors, Red Wigglers are highly recommended. If your compost bin or pile is outdoors, Red Wigglers are also superior; however, you may need to make a little extra effort to keep them healthy in extreme temperatures. This is because they …

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Wake Up Your Vermicomposting Bin in the Spring

Mother Nature is waking up and warming up. The spring sun is bestowing new life and vigor. It’s time to check inside your composter to see how your worms are doing. They get slow and sleepy in the cold, but now, they are hard at work eating food scraps and churning out worm castings, a super-nutritious component of finished compost that helps your plants grow like crazy. During the winter, in the cold, sluggish months when the worms were sleeping, your composter may have gotten filled up with scraps. These scraps will begin to disappear into compost as everything warms up. Adding a bag or two of extra red wiggler worms can help move those scraps along so you have plenty of rich compost to add to your garden. The best worms for composting are red wigglers. They don’t need a lot of depth to be happy. They tolerate a wider temperature range than other worms, and they stay put in the composter, unlike some worm types that have the tendency to spontaneously migrate.

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Composting Worms Species Disclaimer

We cannot guarantee a 100% pure species of any type composting worms. Our worms are harvested from worm beds that are decades old and may depending of time of year contain several different compost worm species. Not to worry!  Bed run worms are superior because they work all layers of the compost not just the top few inches. Giving you a better compost faster. This also gives an advantage in that as conditions change certain species will multiply as conditions become unfavorable for another keeping you with a constantly healthy composter.  Because they are bed run some orders may have more than one species than another but rest assured their populations will naturally adjust to the needs of your waste. Because of the adaptive nature of worms some varieties reproductive rates change with warmer weather, colder weather, moisture levels, soil content etc. Different species of Worms perform distinct jobs. Some will burrow horizontally, while others will burrow vertically, some to a depth of twelve feet. Aporrectodea caliginosa – the common pasture earthworm Dendrobaena veneta – the European night crawler Amynrthus Gracilus – Alabama Jumper Eisenia fetida – the manure worm. Perionyx excavatus – The blue worm. Eisenia Andrei – the Red Tiger worm Lumbricus terrestris – the common night crawler or dew worm. Lumbricus rubellus* – the red marsh worm. Commonly found in places rich in organic matter and moisture such as gardens and pastures. The reproductive habits of different species of earthworms will vary. For example, the Aporrectodea caliginos …

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Why Worms Make Great Pets

Disclaimer: This article is meant all in good fun. There are many emotional, practical and entertainment advantages to furry and feathered pets. This article is meant to educate you about composting worms by comparing and contrasting them to furry/feathered pets. Enjoy! Composting worms make great pets because they are no trouble at all. Stocking a worm farm costs less than $50, but pays off in unlimited free compost for your garden. While worms are not fluffy or affectionate, they come with fewer problems than other pets. The average cost of owning a pet like a dog over its lifetime can range from $4000 to $38,000. But worms are relatively cheap to buy. And you generally get a thousand of them at a time. Worms don’t need to be neutered or spayed. And they don’t need any special immunization shots or microchips. Most pets need to be taken to the vet from time to time during their lifetime. And vets charge around $40 per visit. But worms never need a vet visit. And, if part of them gets cut off, sometimes they can even replace the severed part all by themselves. When you first bring a new pet to your home, sometimes they are not completely house-trained. They urinate (or worse) on your nice cream carpet. And they may bring very unpleasant smells to your home. Worms don’t have any of these kinds of problems. They are house-trained and if you give them the right mix of organic and paper wastes, …

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Fishing Worms and Rabbits: A Match Made in Heaven?

If you want to integrate worm farming with your rabbit operation, have a look at the classic, Raising Fishworms with Rabbits, by Howard “Lucky” Mays. First published in 1976, this little manual is two parts valuable instruction and one part personal anecdotes. Mays tells the story of how he got started with rabbits and worms and gives lots of valuable tips on everything from finding rabbit stock to recognizing problems in your worm bin. Mays started out with $5 borrowed from the grocery money, and in the end he has a barn with several hundred rabbits. You might think that many rabbits would stink, but thanks to the composting worms, his barn is odorless, even when closed up for the winter. Worms as a Waste Disposal Solution Gardeners think of rabbit manure as a “cool” manure, and some use it directly on their plants. But manure is not the only waste product your rabbits are generating. There’s also their used nesting material, their urine, and their spilled feed — not to mention the flies that will eventually find their way to this mess. Taken together, you’ve got a hot and stinky waste disposal problem! Proper composting turns that problem into an opportunity. The nitrogen from the urine and the feed combines with the carbon from the bedding and other organic matter, and over time a lovely fertilizer results. This fertilizer can be sold or used on your own plants. Mays takes it one step further and adds worms to the …

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Pet Rabbits – A Worm’s Best Friend

Rabbit droppings are small, relatively dry and don’t contain too much nitrogen, which can spoil plant roots. Although new rabbit manure is considered great plant fertilizer, many rabbit growers choose to put earthworms under their rabbit cages. Why? Rabbit manure along with wasted rabbit feed has been proved to be some of the best food a worm can eat. Also, when properly cared for, earthworms eliminate manure piles, odor, and fly problems all together. For this reason alone, rabbits and worms make a great team. Rabbits are a worm’s best friend. Making Simple Compost with Earthworms To set up your earthworms for an optimal place to feed, you will want to have them underneath your rabbits cage. The best earthworm that I have found is redworms. Ideally, you should have 250-550 worms per square foot. Worms will do a terrific job eliminating the rabbit poop and wasted feed into dark, nutrient-rich, finely textured humus. In addition, keeping worms under the cages allows you to raise worms for fishing bait and worm castings for your garden. This ecosystem that you are creating with worms and rabbits creates a fantastic number of uses for catching fish and feeding gardens – all part of eating organically grown food. Creating a Rabbit and Earthworm Ecosystem Underneath the rabbit hutch you can build a wood frame around the worm bed.  This should be about 12 inches deep. The rabbit hutch should be 3 feet above the ground. A half inch wire mesh floor should be …

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10 Fruits Worms Love To Eat

As a new season of harvest rolls around, fresh peaches, pears, apples and much more will be filling kitchen pantries. It’s a great time of year to make delicious morning smoothies, fresh fruit pies and give your worms a succulent treat! This year, instead of letting all of your fruit trimmings go to waste, start a compost pile with them or give them to your worm farm! Worms are huge fans of fruit, it’s one of their favorite snacks. Any vermicomposter will tell you how much worms just seem to thrive and produce more when fruit is a staple in their diet. Since fruit doesn’t have a very long shelf life and it tends to go bad every now and then, chances are pretty good that you’ll have some spoiled fruit to share with them on a semi-regular basis. So what kind of fruits do worms like in particular? Top 10 Fruits Worms Love To Eat Worms will eat just about anything, but one of their most favorite dishes is organic fruit trimmings. Yes, that’s right – the stuff that usually ends up in your kitchen garbage disposal or in your trash. They’ll gladly take that off your hands, work on it and turn it into valuable compost! The big rule to bear in mind when feeding worms fruit is to avoid fruit with citric acid. Fruits you definitely want to avoid include oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and pineapple. Feeding these types of fruits can cause them to try to crawl …

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