I started a couple of worm bins made out of rubbermaid tubs with a layer of lava rock on the bottom and lined with landscaping fabric with several large holes around the side for ventilation. I saved some scraps and begin preparing the beds by placing moistened paper products in the bins for a week before ordering some worms.
I searched the internet and finally came across a local supplier of worms out of Dawsonville, GA. Herron farms worms. I ordered 1/2lb full size worms for $14.00 advertised as approx. 2 cups of worms with approximately 500 worms. I also ordered a lb of bed run worms for $19.00. Well a few days later my order arrived and the box didn't even feel like it had a lb in it. Total cost $42.49 with shipping. I opened it up with the family and kids and we were sorely disappointed. The bag had about 2 cups of material/worms total. I could see about 10-20 mature red worms and quite a few smaller ones, but I also received about 20 soldier fly larvae and I could see plenty of mites crawling around in there as well. Not quite what I had expected or seen on the website nor was it representative of other's journals about vermicomposting.
Needless to say, he tried to cover up this whole situation and I asked for a refund which I received less than $6.49 shipping. He even says he doesn't treat people like this and I'm welcome to come pick them up myself. Well, I'd prefer you mail them to my house properly the first time. Frustration.
Ultimately, we had to dump the bins because I don't want to introduce other insects from the start and the low count of large worms (less than 20) would not be able to fill the space we had provided for them. Much to our disappointment, the exciting new project for my kids and my garden has been put to the side, until we can find a reputable worm dealer, and even decide if it's worth the trouble.
As a result, Tim says he's removed bed run worms from his site because, "people can't see all the tiny worms." He said he had a big sale of most of his worms and was low, and that the large feeders were kept in separate bins than the bedruns. Well I ordered .5lb of large red worms and didn't receive them, even though he acknowledged he had them. Just all sorts of anomalies and mumbo jumbo while I wasted my time and money. Next time instead of trying to pull the wool over my eyes and sending me a bunk product, tell your customers that you no longer have it available. http://www.herronfarms.webs.com/
Thank you for listening and I hope that others do not experience the same. Have a nice day and may your gardens grow.
-I apologize that my first post is a negative review of a supplier, but the whole experience irked me so badly that I just had to share so someone else doesn't get the shaft like I did.
biaramus...sounds like a pretty raw deal to me. I have sent starters for red wigglers to several DG memebers and they have had good success with them. My culture dates back some fifty years and I have five inexpensive plastic tubs which I use for holding bins. I do not drill holes in these tubs since I use peatmoss as a media and I have learned how to control the moisture content so drainage is not necessary. The aeration of the media is simply turning the media over with a hand fork when I feed the worms. I do a complete turnover of the media two or three times a year. Red wigglers don't mind the disturbance as much as the European nightcrawlers which I am still trying to figure out. Let me know biaramus if I can be of assistance.
Tim, I wouldn't worry about this posting. It's the only one this so called "biramus" made and it didn't get much attention as you can tell. I did visit your web site after your posting and was impressed. Maybe others will do the same. The whole idea of using lava rocks in the bottom of a Rubbermaid tub with holes for aeration seemed a bit weird to me if the first place. An interesting side note is the comment I made about European night crawlers. I had purchased a number of these back in 2010 and I didn't have much luck raising them using my red wiggler method so I emptied to two indoor bins into a raised bed with composted cow manure near my garden. I now have European night crawlers appearing in my garden when cultivating.
You mentioned five different types of worms Tim in your response. I only saw four listed on your web site; Canadian, European, and African night crawlers as well as red wigglers. What is the fifth type of worm that I missed?
I liked your approach to offering free fishing worms to take a kid fishing. When my kids were much younger we developed a method of fishing for sunfish using red wigglers. It worked amazingly well and later was modified slightly for fishing with lures which the kids made called "Morgan's Raiders". We still use that method today for fishing for trout with the grandkids. It is simple to setup and can be used effectively for kids of all ages. Actually I have been using this method myself since 1985 for all kinds of fish and it still works incredibly well.