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Cathy's Crawly Composters - Vermicomposting

Cathy's Crawly Composters


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The Topic

February 18, 2012

Environment: Woman behind Cathy's Crawly Composters
seeks to help less fortunate in Latin America

Bradford's Cathy Nesbitt displays a handful of red wiggler worms
and a pair of worm bins demonstrating what they look like after
and before the worms have done their work.

Resident aims to help poor worm their way out of poverty.

Article & Photo by: Sean Pearce

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 capital city.

“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 help

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

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 own crops.

“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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Cathy's Crawly Composters

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