Where there’s a worm there’s a way.
That’s the hope of Bradford’s Cathy Nesbitt who you
may know from her business Cathy’s Crawly Composters. She
was recently contacted by Maria Rodriguez, the executive director
of Byoearth Guatemala, to provide assistance and her somewhat
unique expertise to help the organization set up a vermicomposting
operation near the largest garbage dump in that country’s
“They’re trying to eradicate extreme poverty in Latin
America,” Ms Nesbitt said. “It’s a lofty goal,
but a great one.”
The goal behind Byoearth’s plan is to help the women in
the slums of Guatemala City start their own worm composting micro-businesses
so that they can both sell the rich soil the creatures produce
and use some of it to grow their own food.
If all goes according to plan, and she receives enough sponsorship
to do so, Ms Nesbitt will fly to Guatemala next month.
How you can
The Sharon Hope United Church will be host to a Squirmin’
Dirt Party on Friday, Feb. 17.
The evening will showcase a double feature of Dirt! The
Movie and Squirm - The Cathy’s Crawly Composters Story.
Beyond the films, there will be a raffle for some great
prizes and the party will also serve as a fundraiser/benefit
to help send Cathy Nesbitt to Guatemala to help Byoearth
grow their idea of using vermiculture to help those in desperate
need across Latin America.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the church is located at 18648
Leslie St. in Sharon.
For those that want to support Ms Nesbitt’s Byoearth/Guatemala
venture, but can’t attend the movie night, be sure
to visit the information and donation page at www.cathyscomposters.com/guatemala.
And Byoearth won’t be the only organization seeking Ms Nesbitt’s
know-how while she’s there.
The Guardians of the Rainforest have also sought her and Ms Rodriguez
out through social media and hope to have the pair share with
them some of their vermicomposting tricks of the trade. In the
Guardians’ case, the idea won’t be to help create
soil for sale so much, but rather a way for the people of El Remate,
Peten, Guatemala to rehabilitate the land so they can grow their
“I want to teach them to teach what I have learned,”
she said. “I want to help people get past that fear factor
(of the worms).”
That “ewwww” reaction is one Ms Nesbitt has encountered
for a long time in this part of the world. After all, she’s
been vermicomposting since 1993 and can still remember the looks
she received when she began collecting scraps from her co-workers
to take home and compost.
“People thought I was a little bit crazy,” she said.
“Even then, though, people still wanted to do the right
thing for the environment.”
Ms Nesbitt has been operating her business for about a decade
now and has found that education is the best weapon against those
who might be squeamish about the idea of diving into vermicomposting.
Her approach seems to work as she’s sold thousands of pounds
of Red Wiggler worms over the years not to mention some 2,000
worm bin composters and that’s not to mention the 50,000
or so students that have seen her school presentations and those
who have attended a worm-themed birthday party.
Most who learn a bit more about worms become fascinated rather
than frightened, Ms Nesbitt said, and many start to find worms
pretty endearing when you consider that one pound of worms can
eat one tonne of organic waste over the course of a year. With
that in mind, it comes as no surprise that she often refers to
them as “Angels of the Earth”.
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