Looks like I may end up in the worm farming business after all. I teach a fair number of worm composting workshops around town, and I always try to have someone there to sell worms and bins. You’d think Humboldt County would be crawling with worm farmers, but there’s really only a couple of people in the business, and they’re not always able to provide the worms I need when I need ’em. So yesterday I divided my worm herd in half and started a bigger worm box with the intent of having some extra worms I can sell in a pinch. This is going to be a much simpler setup than the stacking bins I prefer to use: the new worm bin is nothing more than a 25-gallon plastic storage tub with some holes drilled in it for air and drainage. I started the worms out in fresh bedding—coir, or shredded coconut fiber—and topped it with lots of shredded paper. Worms are actually quite content eating paper, and these critters will get a lot of it, along with their share of the kitchen scraps and coffee grounds. If I'm lucky, I'll have enough worms to sell later this year sometime.
Meanwhile, if you're looking for worms, I highly recommend Happy D Ranch in Visalia, CA. They ship worms all over the country, and they've been in the business for years. Tell Dorothy I sent you.
P.S. I'm going to talk to 80-100 sixth-graders tomorrow. I hope the worms are ready for this, because I don't know if I am!