AT just 13-years-old, Horsham’s Bart Turgoose is what you would call an entrepreneur.
The Year 8 Horsham College student has been selling worms and worm juice since 2014, and is the boss of his own business, Worm King.
“We gave dad a worm farm for his birthday in 2013 and a few people suggested that I should sell the worm castings from it,” he said.
“So I thought it was a good idea and started selling the castings which turned into something bigger.
“Then someone suggested that we start selling the worms too, because by that stage it had been a year and everything had been developed.
“We sell worms every year for the fishing competition and sell the worm juice to people around Horsham.”
Bart said his business grew very quickly in a short amount of time.
“We expanded from one worm farm to now having four bathtubs filled with worms,” he said.
“We’re hoping to expand to either a fifth or sixth bathtub; we’re wanting to make it really, really big so then we’ll have plenty of worms year round to sell all year round.
He said there wasn’t a shortage of buyers for his worm juice.
“The worm juice normally goes to Norton Estate Wines, otherwise I have people come up from Melbourne to buy it,” he said.
“I also have business cards around Horsham and people call up, come over and pick some up.”
He said his young age didn’t deter potential buyers.
“Sometimes they’re surprised, and are very over the top, like ‘wow, that’s really cool that you’re doing all this yourself’, but it’s just what I want to do,” he said.
“My school friends think it’s really good because I make my own money and that way I can buy stuff, so it’s really good because I can afford all my own stuff unlike some kids.
“I don’t have to ask for pocket money, which is the good thing about it.”
Bart sells his worm juice for $2 per litre.
“That’s half the price of what it was in Mildura for people to buy, so we just kind of matched it and took a little bit off so people would buy it,” he said.
“Our worms are $10 for 100 and they’re hand counted. We’ve got a mixture of red wigglers and tiger worms, so there’s lots of worms everywhere.
We’re wanting to make it really, really big so then we’ll have plenty of worms all year round to sell all year roundBart Turgoose
“When you look through the bathtub there’s always lots of little white specks and they’re all the little baby worms getting ready to become big worms to go on your hook for fishing.”
Bart also had some advice for other young, aspiring business owners.
“Just get out and have a go really,” he said.
“You don’t need to be scared, just make yourself well-known and advertise really well.”
If you are interested in buying some of Bart’s worms or worm juice, call 0499 769 860.
WORM JUICE BENEFITS
WORM juice provides more than 60 different types of nutrients and minerals to help plants grow.
It is the enzyme in the worm’s digestive tract that makes the nutrients water-soluble, and immediately available for plant consumption.
“You can put the worm castings on your garden and it will make it really, really good,” Bart said.
“There was a guy that I met who couldn’t get his parsnips to grow.
“So I gave him some of my worm juice and he was over the moon because he got parsnips to grow.
“They were the biggest and juiciest parsnips that he’d had in ages.”
Bart said worm juice was easy to produce.
“The worms breed really easily and it’s really not that hard to look after them,” he said.
“They don’t have to be in a certain climate, they’ve just got to be fed.”