Vermiculture (from Latin word vermis, meaning worm) is the intentional rearing of earthworms to produce more earthworms. It involves the mass production of certain species of this annelid worm by providing them appropriate food and optimum conditions for their growth and reproduction.
Vermiculture and vermicomposting are therefore inseparable. Vermiculture requires the use of organic materials as feed of the earthworms. To accelerate the production of earthworms, it is necessary to understand not only the breeding and growth requirements of the organism but also the process of producing compost. Conversely, the process of vermicomposting requires also an understanding of earthworms, particularly those which are efficient decomposers. In either system, both earthworms and vermicomposts are produced.
Applications of Vermiculture – Earthworms can be sold to the following markets: Bait and tackle shops Large-scale vermicomposting facilities Worm growers just entering the business Institutions and businesses that do on-site vermicomposting of their food scraps and other organic materials (includes prisons, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, restaurants, grocery stores, office buildings, etc.) Farmers desiring to vermicompost animal manure (including livestock and poultry farms, rabbitries and horse stables) Composters, organic gardeners or fisherpeople wanting to raise worms for their own use Growers with orders too large to fill from their own stocks Private laboratories, universities, and high schools for research and classroom needs
Businesses that need worms as food for animals: Fish hatcheries Tropical fish stores Pet stores Zoos (w/ exotic fish and birds) Gamebird breeders Frog farmers Poultry growers Industries with organic wastes suitable as feedstock for worms: Composting facilities Papermills Breweries Cardboard manufacturers Land reclamation sites Generators of sludge/biosolids Food processors Canneries Wineries Cotton mills