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Cathy's Crawly Composters

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Business Woman Canada

July/August 2002


Worms and Women? Not generally a good mix!

Cathy Nesbitt is not your ordinary woman, she likes worms! I mean it, she really likes those crawly critters! A few weeks ago, Cathy was part of one of my workshops. She introduced herself and told the audience that she was the owner of a company called Cathy's Crawly Composters. She is a worm farmer and she is on a mission! She wants us to recycle and to use those crawly critters to eat our garbage!
At my workshops I insist that everyone provide me with what I call a W3. This was Cathy's W 3 -

Who Am I?

Cathy's Crawly Composters is an environmentally driven vermicomposting business. Vermicomposting is simply composting with specialty worms known as Red Wigglers. We host demonstrations to promote vermiculture as a sound recycling solution. In addition to our expertise, we sell a wide range of vermicomposting supplies. Collecting shredded paper waste from local businesses and coffee grounds/filters from a local coffee shop has enabled us to divert a large amount of waste from the landfill. A one-month research project with a Country Style location in Bradford enabled us to collect over 1000 lbs. of coffee grounds and filters!

What do I need?

To continue our research about coffee ground composting and vermicomposting, we require the use of an acre or so of land. This would enable us to research with various combinations of materials to process coffee grounds and other organic material.

A Government contact or information pertaining to different funding programs for environmental projects and research would also be helpful.

What am I willing to share?

We are willing to share information about recycling and environmental issues by helping others set up composting and vermicomposting systems. We will recognize on our web site companies that practice sound environmental methods.

I was challenged, I wanted to help Cathy and perhaps even make a difference to our environment. Cathy gave me a book called "Worms Eat My Garbage" and after reading it from cover to cover - I am going to buy my grandson Keegan his own "Junior Worm Farm".

Cathy has agreed to do a workshop for young kids at our facility in Oakville. This will be a workshop for kids who want to know more about worms and the environment. Between us, we have designed a Junior Worm Farmer's Kit and we are looking forward to the launch the product. My grandson has agreed to be our "test farmer". Keegan will have his own personal farm where he will feed, herd, and harvest a crop that can be used to make his mom's garden grow better. He's keen and he will learn a great deal about the environment while he looks after his worms. It may even improve his eating habits when he learns that fruit and vegetables are a worm's favourite treat!

He wants to know more about these worms. The following were some of the of the questions he asked - and Cathy has agreed to provide all the answers!

  • How do I look after my worms?
  • Do worms smell?
  • Can a worm see?
  • Where is the worm's mouth?
  • Does a worm have teeth?
  • How does a worm grind it's food?
  • Do worms need air?
  • If a worm is cut in half, will both grow back?
  • How long does a worm live?
  • Can I really herd my worms?

As a result of Cathy's W 3, we have introduced her to people from Environment Canada, The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, and to a young woman at Wilfred Laurier University who is working on a similar project. We have helped source products and we are working with Cathy to design the packaging that will sell not only her vermicomposting systems, and her worms, it will also promote her vision.

Cathy is building her business. Her corporate colours are green and white. She has a mascot, a red wriggler, called Casey. Marketing and packaging are as important as product.

The "Junior Worm Farmer Kit" is all green and white. It includes the container, a small flashlight with a red cellophane "hat", (worms don't like light and the kids need to be able to see what the worms are doing), a wooden spoon, (to mix the bedding and add the food) a small grater, (to make the food easier to process) a bag of bedding and the worms. A book on Casey and his family and all the instructions needed to help them look after the worms and do their part to save the environment.

The Junior Worm Farm Kit is a tremendous Christmas gift. There is even a "Junior Worm Farmer Connection" on Cathy's website. Kids can connect with each other through the Internet on site, and share farming experiences. I can also see an opportunity for kids to learn more about the environment and even do a little fundraising through elementary schools who become part of The "Junior Worm Farmer program".

We live and work in Oakville. Halton Waste Management is actively involved in composting. They supplied small green composters to Rotary Clubs for their Camp Enterprise events. These could work perfectly for the Junior Worm Farmer Kit. Tim Hortons head office is in Oakville and should be a great source of coffee grounds and filters. We will use Oakville as a test market for the products and the vision. We will let our readers know what develops.

Creating the package and the excitement for any product is the best way to guarantee success. For more information on Cathy's Crawly Composters visit www.cathyscomposters.com.


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Cathy's Crawly Composters

Bradford, Ontario
Local: (905) 775-9495
Toll Free: 1-888-775-9495
email: cathy@cathyscomposters.com