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Cathy's Crawly Composters - Vermicomposting

Cathy's Crawly Composters


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Bradford West Gwillimbury Times

January 12, 2012

Worms fight poverty in Guatemala!

Photo and story by Miriam King, Bradford Times

Cathy Nesbitt first became aware of Byoearth and its work in Guatemala through "the random universe of Twitter," she says.

Byoearth is an organization working with the poorest of the poor in Guatemala: the residents of Guatemala City's garbage dump. Its goal is to eliminate extreme poverty, through vermiculture - the use of worms to break down organic waste, creating valuable compost. With support from Fundacion Junkabal, Byoearth is promoting entrepreneurship, assisting 45 women to carry out worm-based composting, and sell the organic fertilizer produced.

Nesbitt received a tweet from Byoearth - and as the founder of Cathy's Crawly Composters, a vermiculture company in Bradford that promotes the use of red wiggler worms, she was intrigued. She tweeted back, "What a cool thing - Red Wigglers are the way" - and received a reply from Byoearth Director, Maria Rodriguez, inviting her down to Guatemala.

Nesbitt hopes to visit the Central American country this March, meeting with Byoearth, viewing the project, and helping to market the finished compost.

"My goal down there is really to enthuse them about the worms," says Nesbitt. "From a selfish standpoint, they're doing down there what I want to do here" - to use vermiculture as a tool for education, engagement, and sustainable business.

In her own experience, presenting information on worms and vermiculture in seminars, "worm parties" and classrooms, "the worms are transformative," she says - not only turning organic waste into gardeners' "black gold," but creating a new understanding of the natural world, and transforming lives.

"I've heard that over and over from teachers, that some of the kids who are on the fringes - it helps them," Nesbitt says. "It's so novel. There are so many ways the worms can be incorporated."

Her own personal goal is to eventually establish a Vermicomposting Education Centre. Cathy's Crawly Composters celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and, says Nesbitt, "I think this is the year to move it forward."

The trip to Guatemala could be a key part of that - "bringing back the model of what they're doing in Guatemala, the passion... and 'spreading the worm'."

Nesbitt is now looking for sponsorship, to help cover the estimated $2,500 cost of her trip - and to donate vermicomposting supplies that could be shipped to Guatemala, for the Byoearth project. For more information or to support her trip, call 905-775-9495 or visit Donations can be made through PayPal, or by cheque.

Nesbitt can also be followed on



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Cathy's Crawly Composters

Bradford, Ontario
Local: (905) 775-9495
Toll Free: 1-888-775-9495