My worm farm is really cranking and as financial reality has forced me to take a job that I really don't want, pumping petrol into pleasure boats at the nearby lake I thought I might as well see if I can supply the store I will be working at with some worms to sell for bait. They currently buy them from the local bait shop and with their captive market mark up the price 100% so that 10 worms sell for $4.50!!! Which seems awfully high to me... I'm sure I can undercut that source and still make a little bit of spending money. They are packaged in these little styrofoam boxes and the worms are in their fairly beautifully finished castings. It breaks my heart to see the fisherman throw the boxes full of black gold into the bins and I have been known to go into the bin after them! The main reason that I keep worms is for their castings so I am loathe to put the castings in whatever packaging I come up with.
I know I would do well to look up sites specific to worm farming for this sort of info but I thought I would first ask you permies to see if you have seen or can think of any solutions to my problem. Ideally I'd like to come up with some kind of free, biodegradeable packaging, and bedding that won't produce any kind of odour as the worms wait to go on the hook. I have thought about damp shredded paper, although here in the desert the paper may well dry out before the worms are sold which would equal dead worms and unsatisfied customers. Any ideas?
Also, does anyone know of a simple way to calculate the rates at which you can harvest the worms without putting a dent in their population? I know all this info is probably out there and I am just too lazy to go look, but I am curious to see what responses I get here.