The Garden Forums

Dig In!
It is currently Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:02 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 4:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Zone 5
I have an excess of castings and a friend who's willing to sell them in the local Farmer's Market along with her plants.

It seems that the average price for castings is about $3.00 a pound, but I noticed by some of the pictures that what they're mostly selling is vermicompost, not pure castings.

Any of you folks who are in business, what would a fair price be for pure castings?

Thanks!

_________________
Pain free gardening.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 11:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:12 pm
Posts: 172
Location: Richmond, VA Zone 7
A lot depends on your productions costs. My worming business is still pretty much a hobby that pays for itself. It's just me and I'm really low tech at this point. My only real costs are the bags I use to package the castings and the cost to print the labels on my printer. I usually try to get $2.00 a pound. If I can get that, then I feel like the effort I put forth has been worth while.

_________________
Buddy
Vermadoo Farms

Promote Global Worming!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 6:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Zone 5
Thanks, Wistar, appreciate your input!

_________________
Pain free gardening.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 2:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:13 pm
Posts: 20
love2garden: HOW do you get pure castings? And how can you tell whether it's pure castings or compost?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 6:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2006 4:05 pm
Posts: 1251
Location: Zone 8 Northeast Texas
titan3 wrote:
love2garden: HOW do you get pure castings? And how can you tell whether it's pure castings or compost?


Great questions! I agree. PURE would be not only guesswork but probably no better, if not less better, than "finely processed" compost.

Besides that, 100% worm compost is a misnomer anyway. I sell "finely processed" worm compost which I believe is just as good, or maybe better because it's more active with lots of other beneficial critters in it.

"Finished" compost is like nearing a wall by halving the distance to it with each step. You'll never get there.

If we allow it to become 100%, that must mean that we've discontinued feeding the worms so they'll finish off all the remaining consumables in the bin which would slow worm reproduction and castings reproduction.

I think we tend to want to market a product that looks "more refined" to the consumers.

Chuckiebtoo

off-topic:

my dove nest diary:

expectant mother
Attachment:
IMG_6648.JPG
IMG_6648.JPG [ 1.13 MiB | Viewed 2704 times ]


mother, hatchling, & dad
Attachment:
IMG_6655.JPG
IMG_6655.JPG [ 1.17 MiB | Viewed 2702 times ]

_________________
Moderation, Diversity, Patience.

http://wormscan.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 8:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:12 pm
Posts: 172
Location: Richmond, VA Zone 7
titan3 wrote:
love2garden: HOW do you get pure castings? And how can you tell whether it's pure castings or compost?


From what I have been able to gather from the large commercial growers I have talked to, the industry standard seems to be: All product that is small enough to pass through an 1/8" screen is deemed "processed" enough to be labeled as worm castings.

It's never going to be 100% castings. Some of the material will be highly composted bedding & organic matter. But the vast majority will be castings. And of course it's all 100% fantastic for plants.

For myself, processed bin material that passes through a 1/4" screen is considered vermicompost. Any of that material that then passes through an 1/8" screen, I sell as worm castings.

_________________
Buddy
Vermadoo Farms

Promote Global Worming!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Zone 5
Thanks again for the input.

It's a reasonable question, but this stuff is like clay in texture. There is no visible compostable material at all even under a magnifying glass. CB, you were the first one to mention the difference between vermi-compost and vermi-castings in this forum - at least for me. There was even discussion about starving worms to death allowing them to reprocess the same castings over and over. That is not what I want to do, but believe me this stuff is not your usual vermi-compost. (How I got the stuff is subject for another post.)

I agree that it's all fantastic for plants, but the question was whether there is a fair market price for vermi-castings as opposed to vermi-compost - in other words, highly processed compost. Like really highly processed. I know that if I were buying the product myself, I wouldn't expect to pay the same for both products. Generally speaking, the more concentrated a product, the higher the price tag.

However, if people are not that discerning when it comes to vermi-compost and therefore there is no market for 'almost' pure castings, then there's really no reason to go this route. Vermi-composting isn't a business for me. I am into worms for the pure magic of watching them take household waste and turn it into black gold that my plants go ga-ga over.

Due to my current circumstances, I can't use all that the little critters produce and therefore thought I'd sell it in the market. But in fact, I'm rethinking that. For the price you get, and the time put in, it's barely a paying proposition. I'd get way more satisfaction from watching the faces of my gardening friends light up when I give it to them.

_________________
Pain free gardening.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:23 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Berkeley, CA
WistarWorms wrote:
From what I have been able to gather from the large commercial growers I have talked to, the industry standard seems to be: All product that is small enough to pass through an 1/8" screen is deemed "processed" enough to be labeled as worm castings.

It's never going to be 100% castings. Some of the material will be highly composted bedding & organic matter. But the vast majority will be castings. And of course it's all 100% fantastic for plants.

For myself, processed bin material that passes through a 1/4" screen is considered vermicompost. Any of that material that then passes through an 1/8" screen, I sell as worm castings.


Buddy, I'm going to respectfully disagree with the "industry standard". I don't doubt that is the standard many VC producers use, but I'll bet there will be a huge variation in quality simply based on screen size.

For example, I've read of one system that claims they can produce pure worm castings in 14 days using black peat for bedding and feeding the worms some worm-chow-like product. I'm in CA and can't get black peat, but a vermicomposting acquaintance sent me a sample of the stuff. I put what he gave me through 1/8" screen and more than half of it passed right through. I doubt most people could distinguish the screened black peat from vermicompost.

On the other side of the spectrum you have a VC producer who pre-composts organic manure for a few weeks before letting the worms process it for 2 months. He sells that as vermicompost, not worm castings.

I do agree that vermicompost does not need high worm castings content to be great for plants. I just think it's more accurate to label it vermicompost instead of worm castings. CB2's description seems fair.

Quote:
I sell "finely processed" worm compost which I believe is just as good, or maybe better because it's more active with lots of other beneficial critters in it.

_________________
Andrew


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:23 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Berkeley, CA
love2garden wrote:
...but the question was whether there is a fair market price for vermi-castings as opposed to vermi-compost - in other words, highly processed compost. Like really highly processed. I know that if I were buying the product myself, I wouldn't expect to pay the same for both products. Generally speaking, the more concentrated a product, the higher the price tag.

However, if people are not that discerning when it comes to vermi-compost and therefore there is no market for 'almost' pure castings, then there's really no reason to go this route.


love2garden, I very much doubt the average consumer can tell the difference between vermicompost with 80% or 20% castings content, especially if both have been put through 1/8" or 1/4" screen. You could take that highly concentrated VC and mix it in with your normal VC and still fairly sell it for $3 per quart bag. I'll be willing to bet your customers will be very happy and come back for more.

_________________
Andrew


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 2:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Zone 5
plumiebear wrote:
love2garden wrote:
...but the question was whether there is a fair market price for vermi-castings as opposed to vermi-compost - in other words, highly processed compost. Like really highly processed. I know that if I were buying the product myself, I wouldn't expect to pay the same for both products. Generally speaking, the more concentrated a product, the higher the price tag.

However, if people are not that discerning when it comes to vermi-compost and therefore there is no market for 'almost' pure castings, then there's really no reason to go this route.


love2garden, I very much doubt the average consumer can tell the difference between vermicompost with 80% or 20% castings content, especially if both have been put through 1/8" or 1/4" screen. You could take that highly concentrated VC and mix it in with your normal VC and still fairly sell it for $3 per quart bag. I'll be willing to bet your customers will be very happy and come back for more.


That's exactly what I was thinking, Andrew. If I ever get such a high percentage of castings again and if I have even more than I can personally use than I do right now, I might reconsider selling it.

_________________
Pain free gardening.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group