Herron Farms Dawsonville 706-531-4789

. Organic Farming, Hydroponics, Earthworms/Red Worms Africans Self Sufficiency, self sustainment, homesteading, Square foot gardening, vermiculite, vermiculture and vermicomposting.

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Europeans

Posted by Tim Herron on April 24, 2011 at 9:26 PM Comments comments (0)

I have decided, that contrary to what I have read, African and Europeans are by far superior composters and fish bait.

they have been better breeders, my garden has done better this year than any other, and wow do they breed.

Free Vermicomposting help

Posted by Tim Herron on April 20, 2011 at 9:07 AM Comments comments (0)

AS always,

We offer free info. to help you get started with your worm, no mater where you bought them, we want you to do well with your Hobby, or more.

We are not scared of competition we embrace it.

We set our price based on supply and demand, If we lower it to much we wont have any worms left to sell, and like wise, if we raise it, we will have way to many.

It is very hard to keep everyone happy, but we do try.

We don't B.S. you, you wont become rich and wealthy. How ever, it is possible with a lot of hard work you become a great gardener, vermiculture'est:), and make a comfortable living. This takes years or a lot of up front money sometimes both.

along the way you will make some great friends.;)

 

 

Identifying different kinds of worms

Posted by Tim Herron on November 11, 2010 at 2:19 PM Comments comments (1)

EARTHWORM SPECIES

This page clarifies which species is which in the Vermi-composting world. There seems to be a lot of confusion, even amongst worm breeders, on exactly which “Red Worm” (commonly named the “Red Wriggler”) they are breeding and selling. The name “Red Wriggler” has been so loosely used in the past, that you very likely NOT getting the ACTUAL “RED WRIGGLER”.

So if you really don't mind which red composting worm you have, as long as it gets the job done, great! but for those who want to know more about the worms you have, and more of their characteristics, or if you are interested in breeding worms yourself, then read on. . .

The Real “Red Wriggler” !!

The common name “Red Wriggler” was first given to the “Red Worm” from the genus Lumbricus rubellus. Its other common names are Red Worm, Dung Worm or Blood Worm, and more recently I have begun to refer to these as “True Reds”. It is called “Red Wriggler” because these worms are EXTREMELY sensitive to light. While all worms “wriggle” with discomfort at being exposed to light (mostly ultra-violet light from the sun), this “Red Wriggler” thrashes about violently. This characteristic, as well as the fact they exude amino acids, make these “Red Wrigglers” irresistible to fish, and therefore THIS is the “Red Wriggler” sought after by fishermen as great bait.

“True Reds” are good composting worms, but do not breed as prolifically as other commercial earthworms. They do their best work in the soil as they are endogeic (soil dwellers) that convert decaying plant and animal material into available food for plants at the roots where it is needed. They also turn and aerate the soil as they borrow horizontally through the soil

How to tell a “True Red” (Lumbricus rubellus)

COLOUR: Dark Red or Maroon - somewhat iridescent on top and light yellow underside.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Yellowish trowel shaped tail and has NO stripes or banding

ADULT LENGTH: 3-4 inches with up to 95 -120 segments

CLITELLUM: Found between segments 27 - 32 - raised on top side and flatter underneath.

FIRST DORSAL PORE: Found between segment 7 & 8.

HABITAT: Endogeic (Soil Dwellers) -Prefer top 6 to 12 inches of soil

FOOD PREFERENCES: Rich compost, decaying plants & animal material.

TEMPERATURES: 18 to 23o C

COCOON HATCHING: 10 - 16 weeks

The Mis-named Red Wriggler !!

The common name “Red Wriggler” has been associated with another red-coloured worm that isn't from the “Red” (rubellus) family, but is from the “Tiger” family. The Latin name for the Tiger Worm is Eisenia fetida. The worm mis-named “Red Wrigglers” are actually “Red Tigers”, which are a sub-species of the Tiger Worm. Red Tigers are Eisenia fetida andrii. Another common name is Red Brandling Worm. These worms do not “wriggle” as much as the real “Red Wriggler” when exposed to sunlight, and almost appear sluggish in comparison to the True Reds. Also, all Tiger Worms release a ‘fetid' taste and smell as a defense mechanism, and therefore are NOT suitable for fishing! So selling “Red Tigers” as “Red Wrigglers” makes a HUGE difference to fishermen looking for a true “Red Wriggler”, and is somewhat misleading.

Tiger Worms (regular and red) are ideal for composting rich organic waste from the kitchen as they live off a rich source of food,and process large amounts.

How to tell a Red Tiger Worm (Eisenia fetida andrii)

COMMON NAMES: Red Tiger Worm, Red Brandling Worm, Red Tiger Hybrid

COLOUR: Reddish-purple with dark and light stripes or banding between segments

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Banding between segments and have a slightly pointed tail.

ADULT LENGTH: 3 inches

CLITELLUM: Found between segments 26 - 32 - raised all around the worm like a bandage.

FIRST DORSAL PORE: Found between segment 4 & 5.

HABITAT: Epigeic (Surface Dwellers) - Prefer top few inches of soil.

FOOD PREFERENCES: VERY Rich compost, decaying food & animal manures.

TEMPERATURES: 18 to 32o C

COCOON HATCHING: 25 - 70 days, depending on conditions.

How to tell a Tiger Worm (Eisenia fetida)

COMMON NAMES: Tiger Worm, Brandling Worm, Manure Worm, Garlic Worm

COLOUR: Rusty Brown with dark and light alternating stripes of dark brown and light yellow/cream

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Distinct banding between segments and has a rounded tail.

ADULT LENGTH: 3 inches

CLITELLUM: Found between segments 26 - 32 - raised all around the worm like a bandage.

FIRST DORSAL PORE: Found between segment 4 & 5.

HABITAT: Epigeic (Surface Dwellers) - Prefer top few inches of soil.

FOOD PREFERENCES: VERY Rich compost, decaying food & animal manures.

TEMPERATURES: 15 to 25o C

COCOON HATCHING: 25 - 70 days, depending on conditions.

Note: There are some that believe that the “Red Tiger” is a cross or hybrid of the regular brown Tiger (above) and the True Red, and have even named this worm ”Red Tiger Hybrid”, but this is highly unlikely, as there is little scientific evidence that species are able to cross breed because the sexual organs are not ‘matched ‘ for copulation. Although T.J. Barret (Harnessing the Earthworm - 1947) includes documentation submitted by Dr George Oliver that claimed that he had succeeded in hybridising Lumbricus Terrestris - (Night Crawler) with Eisenia Foetida (Tiger/Brandling Worm) in 1925 and named this the “Domestic Earthworm”.

Blue composting worms :

The “True Blue” Worm

If there was confusion over the Red Worms, the Blues have a similar problem in that another blue coloured worm from an entirely different species (Spenceriella noctiluca) native to Australia have been called all the common names that were originally given to Perionyx excavitus. These include Blue Worm, Indian Blue, and Malasian Blue, so once again, to avoid confusion, I call these “True Blues”. The “Aussie Blues” have many similar physical and habitual characteristics to the True Blues, that the confusion here is more forgivable. The traits that separate them are very subtle physical characteristics, while the other distinguishing factors are mostly anatomical, and therefore unseen. Another similarity is that neither tolerate cold climates and prefer more tropical regions. True Blues are known to leave a wormery and have been called “Travellers” by Mary Appelhof in “Worms eat my garbage” (1982 & 1997)

How to tell a True Blue (Perionyx excavitus)

COMMON NAMES: Blue Worm, Indian Blue (named by David Murphy), and Malasian Blue

COLOUR: Perionyx excavitus: Anterior is pupley-blue and the posterior is reddish brown, (while Spenceriella noctiluca is electric pupley-blue on top and reddish brown underneath.)

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Banding between segments and have a slightly pointed tail.

ADULT LENGTH: up to 6 inches

CLITELLUM: Found between segments 7 - 10 - slightly depressed rather than raised.

FIRST DORSAL PORE: Found between segment 4 & 5.

HABITAT: Epigeic (Surface Dwellers) - Prefer top few inches of soil.

FOOD PREFERENCES: VERY Rich compost, decaying food & animal manures.

TEMPERATURES: 20 to 25 C

COCOON HATCHING: 7 - 21 days, depending on conditions.

Note: Perionyx excavitus is parthenogenic, meaning that they are not only hermaphrodites, (ie. have both female and male sexual organs like all earthworms,) but they are able to fertilise themselves, and do not need a mate to reproduce, while hermaphrodites need a mate to transfer each others sperm to fertilise their eggs.

The “Aussie” Blue” Worm (Spenceriella noctiluca)

Several (4) of the Spenceriella species (amongst other species) have been described as Bioluminescent Australian Earthworms. These four Spenceriella species are placed in a new cormieri species-group in the sub-genus Spenceriella S(S). The sub-genus Spenceriella is redefined to include species of earthworm lacking calciferous glands, a highly uncommon occurrence in earthworms, as this gland is credited with the earthworms' ability to produce large amounts of calcium carbonate to aid digestion and is believed to be the secret behind earthworms' ability to neutralise acidic soils. The fact that Spenceriella do not have this gland is the reason for their recent re-classification.

Why these worms are confused with Perionyx Excavitus, is due to the fact that on tactile stimulation Spenceriella noctiluca exhibit spontaneous blueish luminescence which is enhanced by addition of peroxide. Along with other similar external physical characteristics, including the depressed clitellum, make this species easily confused with the “True Blue”.

 

The Classic “Nightcrawler” (Lumbricus terrestris)

Nightcrawlers have a few distinguishing features, both physically and habitually, that have been found in an “African cousin” of another species Eudrillus eugeniae (commonly named the “African Night Crawler”.) Once again, these two species are often confused. Nightcrawlers are not great for domestic vermi-composting even though they are one of the most prolific breeders. The reason is mostly because they prefer their tunnels to be undisturbed and are restless if they are unable to burrow deep enough. They have been known to leave domestic wormeries in search of deeper ground. Nightcrawlers have been known to burrow down 6 to 8 feet deep, but come to the surface to forage and to deposit their castings and capsules. This characteristic makes Nightcrawlers one of the more important earthworms for soil rejuvenation, as they bring minerals from the sub-soil to the surface in their castings and take organic matter deep into their burrows. This cycle is paramount to replenishing our depleting and eroding top soil. Conventional ‘unsustainable' agriculture creates a loss of 75 BILLION TONS of topsoil is lost each year - equating to a loss of around 10 million hectares of productive land per year. Eg. 1 kg of wheat equates to the loss of 5-7kgs of topsoil. Introducing Nightcrawlers to agricultual/pasteral lands could turn this critical situation around in a relatively short period of time.

How to tell a Night Crawler (Lumbricus terrestris)

COMMON NAMES: Nightcrawler, Dew Worm, Rain Worm, Orchard Worm, Angle Worm, Night Lion

COLOUR: Reddish Brown, can appear to have a greenish tinge, with yellowish underside

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Flattened tail

ADULT LENGTH: up to 14 inches

CLITELLUM: Found between segments 32 & 38 - prominent orange-red

FIRST DORSAL PORE: Found between segment 21 - 23.

HABITAT: Anecic (Deep Burrowers) - Vertical burrows found to be up to 8 feet deep

FOOD PREFERENCES: Decaying Organic Matter.

TEMPERATURES: 10 to 15o C

COCOON HATCHING: 14 - 21 days, depending on conditions.

How to tell an African Night Crawler (Eudrillus Eugeniae)

COMMON NAMES: African Nightcrawler, Giant Nightcrawler

COLOUR: Dark mauve or pink throughout, and are slightly iridescent

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Cream striping

ADULT LENGTH: up to 16 inches

CLITELLUM: Found between segments 32 & 38 - prominent orange-red

FIRST DORSAL PORE: Found between segment 21 - 23.

HABITAT: Anecic (Deep Burrowers) - Vertical burows found to be up to 6 feet deep

FOOD PREFERENCES: Decaying Organic Matter.

TEMPERATURES: 15 to 30o C

This page stolen from Herron Farms Dawsonville Ga. 30534706-531-9917

Worm Tea

Posted by Tim Herron on November 2, 2010 at 10:14 AM Comments comments (0)

I have been making compost tea for a very long time. Last year I learned about adding air with an aquarium pump and a bubbler stone.

I fill a 30 gal. trash can with water and let it sit for a couple days so the chlorine and chemicals can evaporate, I throw in a bunch of compost, 2 or 3 shovels, 1 cup of molasses and let it bubble for a day or 2, it will look like a root beer float on top when it's going good, then I just throw this at all my plants. They are much healthier now, no diseases, very few bugs and lots of delicious vegetables and fruit. I went and got this off the internet for you:

What Is Worm Tea and How Do I Make It?

For centuries, farmers have been straining water through vermicompost and calling the liquid worm 'tea.' When prepared properly, worm tea should be virtually odorless and is a valuable organic amendment for the soil, in potted plants, for use in organic gardening. In the last few years, research into the soil food web has lead to the development of worm tea brewers.

Worm tea is brewed using vermicompost and other organic materials such as molasses, sea kelp and other compounds as a starter and then water is added. A pump with special nozzles is then used to oxygenate the mixture over an 18-24 hour period. The microbes (good guys) are increased exponentially and the mixture, with a shelf life of 15 hours, can be sprayed on lawns, flowers, and trees with complete safety.

There is evidence that worm tea will cure tomato blight, leaf curl on fruit trees. It can also replace conventional fertilizers used in areas such as schools, municipal parks and playgrounds. Many of these products are unfriendly to the eco system and are now, or will soon be, banned because of the dangers they pose.

Worm tea is an excellent, 100% natural, non-toxic alternative.

Coming soon at Herron Farms

Posted by Tim Herron on October 27, 2010 at 6:49 PM Comments comments (0)

Coming soon,

 

Minnows,

 

African Nightcrawlers

 

European Night Crawlers

 

Crickets

 

Bee Hives and Honey

We may discontinue Friday mailings

Posted by Tim Herron on September 25, 2010 at 5:39 PM Comments comments (1)

Yesterday being Friday, I got an email about noon, I had a few things to do, so I did them but was sure to rush back to get the worm order in the mail, before 4:30pm as I was informed by the Postmaster in Dawsonville.

Today, Saturday(my Wife's birthday) I get a rude call from the guy I sent them to. Just a recording, before I can even look up the tracking he has called aging, and is just as rude. I have never had this happen before, so I dont know if I should cancel Friday shipments, get there earlier, not ship 1/2 pounds of worms, or what.

I try very hard to make sure every one is treated as good, or better than I would like to be treated. Till this call, I have not had one person leave unhappy whether it was by shipment or in person. That does not mean I am a kiss a&#, that just means, I am determined to make you a happy customer.

 

So I will have to think about Friday shipments: Till then, thank you all for your business.:)

Worm care instructions

Posted by Tim Herron on September 1, 2010 at 10:24 PM Comments comments (0)

Worm Care Instructions

Prepare a Worm Bin

•Carefully select the permanent location for your worm bin.

Wood and plastic serve as good materials for erecting a worm bin. A simple 2' x 2' x 6' wood box works well. Consider adding 36" legs to reduce bending during maintenance.

Hang a light above the bin. This will prevent the worms from venturing out of the bin as they will avoid light.

•Cut a piece of cardboard that covers your bedding but allows for a two to three inch opening around the edges of the bedding. This will serve to block the light while leaving a barrier of light along the edges that the worms will naturally avoid.

•Mix the worm bedding and place it in the worm bin.

A mixture of 50% manure and 50% peat moss is recommended. Cow, horse, sheep and rabbit manure are suggested. Poultry manure is not recommended.

For composting without manure, a combination of 50% dried leaves, grass clippings, aged sawdust and 50% peat moss (sphagnum) can be used.

•Mix water into bedding until moist. A few drops should fall from a fistful when squeezed.

•Give the bedding time to go through the "heat" stage. Once it has gone through the heat stage, turn the bedding with a tined fork. If the bedding is still "hot" continue to turn the pile every few days until "cool." Once the pile is "cool", the worms can be introduced to the bedding.

Introduce the Worms

•Verify that the worms are alive.

•Place approximately 250 worms per 1 square foot of the bin.

•Place the previously cut cardboard on top of the bedding.

Basic Bin Maintenance

•Do not feed the worms on the first day of introduction. Instead, feed the worms on day two. Corn meal or corn powder can be sprinkled on top of the bedding then wet thoroughly, or soft table scraps can be buried under the bedding.

•Water approximately once per week. Water less frequently if you feed with table scraps only.

•Add a handful of powdered lime (garden or lawn variety) to a 2' x 2' box to keep the acid and base of the bedding close to even.

•Add water with a sprinkling can to any dry bedding.

•Turn bedding approximately once per week with a tined hand fork.

Copy right Herron Farms 2010

Fall is right around the corner

Posted by Tim Herron on August 30, 2010 at 7:26 PM Comments comments (0)

save those leaves, leaves and worms go together. Make a worm sandwich, leaves and worms then more leaves and so on.

New Price List

Posted by Tim Herron on August 24, 2010 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Herron Farms

Aug 2010 Price List

½ pound red worms 14.00 plus 8.50 next day priority shipping

1 pound red worms 28.00 plus 8.50 next day priority shipping

The Worm Factory 3 tray_89.95___4 tray_99.95___5tray_109.95_

The Worm Factory 360__109.95_______

Coir_3 inch Comp. Hockey pucks 10 pk=10.00 plus s/h______

Coir Basic 1 ½ lb compressed Brick_5.00 plus s/h

Coir 10 lb compressed block 20.00 prefer pick up

Coir 100 lb 10-10lb compressed blocks 180.00 prefer pick up

Call ahead for shipping prices on 10 and 100 lb

1 Pound Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth 2.50 plus 6.50 next day priority shipping.

20x24 Screens made with 2x3 frames, fully assembled no shipping.

½ mesh 30.00

¼ mesh 30.00

1/8 mesh 30.00

Vermicompost

1.50 Pound, prefer pick up

Tea bags for making 1 gal of worm tea are 1.50 each, or 10 for 10.00, these are full and ready to use.

Shipping is extra, at 6.50 up to 4 pounds.

Cups of 25 worms per cup=2.00 per cup, 5 cup min

10 cups or more=1.75 per cup

Del. Can be arranged with a 50.00 min order, the charge for this will vary with mileage from Dawsonville Ga. A basic in County charge is 10.00 and out of County is 20.00 plus 1.00 per mile after 20 miles. Merchandise and delivery must be prepaid.

Delivery is just a convenience fee and is not meant to make money,

Raising Earthworms

Posted by Tim Herron on August 23, 2010 at 12:51 PM Comments comments (0)

I posted this on a Blog I saw this morning.

 

I had to reply to the posts that I saw on here.

Sorry if I am standing on any toes, that is not my intention. You see, I have been raising red worms for over 30 years. I have moved several times and started over, I have always kept it to a small scale, mostly for personal use and gave away a good many to friends for fishing. Vermicomposting is not even remotely new, It may be that you have never herd of it before, but it is definitely not new. Hugh Carter, Jimmy Carters cousin made a big start with red worms back in the 50s and 60s, I bought my first pound of bed run red worms from Carters worm farm in plains Ga. in 1974, at the time 5.00 plus 1.50 for shipping was 2 lawn cutting jobs plus 50 cents. The going rate for cutting a persons yard was 1.50 for the front and 1.50 for the back. there was very little weed eating to be done as they all used weed killers or gas around the house's, due to the fact that weed eaters were not invented yet.

Raising earthworms for profit by shields publications was the book of choice and it was copyrighted in the 50s. Great book, a lot of what was in there has been forgotten by the newbie worm farmers.

Upward migration is not new either, we just made our (bins)out of what ever wood was around, as long as it was at least 6"wide, Put a screen on the bottom, even chicken wire will work.

then you make another, just a bit smaller than the first(bottom). these averaged 3 high. He pointed out that there is as many ways to raise worms as there are worm farmers. In other words, there is no right and wrong way, it is experimenting with new ideas. I dont bury my food, when I did, it got to hot. I never fed in the corners for the same reason. I feed on a daily basis so as not to over feed or under feed. I use a spray bottle for my smaller bins and a 2 gal sprayer for my barrels cut in 1/2, I use a soak-er hose with a timer and rainwater for my larger beds.

there is no right and wrong bin, some may work better than others. and the best one I hear is the drainage sill cock for drainage, I have never, I repeat never had so much water in the bottom of a bin that I could open a valve and get water/worm juice out of it. If you have that much water it is way to wet, period.

so many people give up, because they dident get the result they thought they would. Worms are not magic, they are like anything else that lives, you have to take care of them. when worms die, they leave no sign, unless they fry, then they become goop and stink.

Coconut Coir

Posted by Tim Herron on August 20, 2010 at 8:47 AM Comments comments (0)

I cant believe people on eBay had coconut coir for sale for over 10 times what I charge. I saw several listings for 100 pounds at 249.99, are you kidding.

I will be happy to sell 100 pounds for 100.00 all day long, and get this, I will be making a killing doing it.

It seems, EBay has turned into a huge scam to me. All I see anymore are drop ship and third party dealers. Amazon.com has done about the same thing. the two companies have found a way to market there products, third party and get paid for selling it twice in a way.

Size does matter,

Posted by Tim Herron on August 18, 2010 at 3:06 PM Comments comments (0)

I changed the count, on the 1/2 pound size for now and will get around to the others soon,  because someone had more time than me, and wrote me back and said there was only 207 in there, all I can say is, they must have been larger than the avg. red worm. I always put in over count worms. so perhaps I have Africans and don't even realize it.

 

avg worm count has been around for a long time, and it is 500 per 1/2 pound and 1000 per pound, but the count was also meant for "bed run worms" taking count of "thread baby's and eggs" when I send out all mature red worms you get the worms weight plus some, with no dirt added, then we add some new peat coir mix and bag them. It is not worth my reputation to rip someone off for 200 worms or so, I would rather give them too them.

I don't advertise that they are guaranteed, but I have never left a customer unhappy, I feel like to put that live guarantee in would motivate people to call and say the worms weren't alive and heck, I would not make a dime for shipping alone.

EBay and Amizon.com

Posted by Tim Herron on August 17, 2010 at 8:58 AM Comments comments (0)

In case you haven't noticed, we don't sell on EBay or Amazon.com, I don't know what they are selling or how they are getting it to sell. But it is obvious that the majority are not into Vermicomposting or the Vermiculture that we share.

 

I am sure there are a few in there that are legit, but we have herd nothing but nightmares from people that have used them for Worms. I need to make money to stay open,yes. but there is more to what I do than just try to make a dollar.

 

We will stay with you from start to finish, and our job is not done when we cash your check. We consider that a down payment on our success. We don't want to be rich and famous, we just want to make a living, have fun and help you get started or improve your Vermicomposting skills.

Free Shipping on Red Worms

Posted by Tim Herron on August 13, 2010 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Free Shipping on Red Worms, when ordered with one of the Worm Factories