One of the first questions I am commonly asked is: How do you get the worms out of the bedding? This is called Harvesting Worms.
Psychology goes a long way here. Think about it, Fish, Ducks, Men….We share a common characteristic. We all FOLLOW THE FOOD! Worms are no different.
There are several methods of harvesting worms using this concept:
Vertical Migration: Common vessels are the Wriggly Wranch, Gusanito Worm Bin, Can of Worms. They all work the same. You raise your worms in a working tray. As soon as all the food and bedding are processed in that working tray, you add a new tray on top with fresh food, and fresh bedding. The Worms follow the Food!
Horizontal Migration: Works well in a larger, single layer worm bin. As soon as all the food and bedding are processed, you move EVERYTHING(Food, bedding, and worms) to one side, then add fresh food and bedding to the other side. The Worms follow the Food!
How is this concept applied to professional worm farming? When harvesting worms for sale, you don’t want to disrupt a thousand pounds of worms to harvest a hundred pounds. So…you put your feed on one side of the bin, and the worms will follow. Do you remember feeding bread to fish as a kid and watching the fish swarm? Same concept applies here. The worms all swarm to the food, turning a high density bed into a sea of red. You put your pitchfork into the mass, and easily pull out your worms!
One major caveat: If you dump fruits and vegetables on the top of your bedding, you are not only inviting your worms to come eat, but also any fruit flies that happen to be residing in your city. You’ve just solved one problem, and introduced another! The feed you see in the picture above is a grain based feed, that does not attract fruit flies.