Cathy's Crawly Composters, Vermicomposting, Indoor composting with Red Wiggler Worms


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Cathy's Crawly Composters


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Bradford West Gwillimbury Times

October 16, 2004

Waste Reduction Week: National Celebration

By Cathy Nesbitt

Having just returned from the 14th Annual Composting Conference in Gatineau, I feel elated and encouraged to learn of the many organic diversion programs taking place across Canada.

In addition to discussions about fascinating municipal aerobic and anaerobic composting programs, this year's conference offered four speakers on vermicomposting. I was honoured to speak to my peers about education and communication strategies. I reported on my experience during the past 2 years, including collection research projects with County Style Donuts and No Frills in Bradford. In 2 months, over 2 tonnes was diverted from landfill! I also described the many benefits of having worms in the classroom.

I ended with the following quote: "If we used all of nature's resources except earthworms to produce topsoil, it would take 100- 150 years to produce one single inch! Bring back the earthworms, and it only takes -1 year to produce that inch." (From "The Worm Book", Loren Nancarrow & Janet Hogan Taylor.)

Located in a 19th century dairy barn nestled amongst the manure from 2 donkeys, 'my squirm of worms continues to grow. That's right, my worms have relocated to a herb farm in Queensville. A Well Watered Garden is a little slice of heaven, a 3.5 acre property with fragrant herb gardens throughout. During the summer, I was involved with Harmonic Happenings, a children's culinary camp. The campers separated the fruit/vegetable peels from their food preparation all week. The last day of camp, they arrived at A Well Watered Garden to learn about herbgrowing. The tour ended in the barn with an interactive display and explanation of composing and vermicomposting. Over a 7-week period, we diverted and composted over 400 lbs.!

To launch Waste Reduction Week (October 18-24), Harmonic Happenings in Newmarket is hosting their Grand Opening on Sunday, October 17th, from 1-4 p.m. at
17780 Leslie St., Unit 4. Enjoy a performance by Vivace!, a women's vocal group. Refreshments and hors d' oeuvres will be served. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $12 at the door. All proceeds go to Crime Stoppers of York Region's Youth Division; call Annette Kelly at 905-830-6715.

For additional information about Waste Reduction Week, visit This year's theme is "Too Good to Waste." We can all do our part to extend the life of landfill sites.

So much energy is spent planning and preparing events. Garbage collection and recycling are often overlooked. At public events, I take note of how garbage is handled - that is, the location of garbage cans, blue boxes, and waste management in general. If food and/or beverages are being served, I check to see what dishes and utensils are used. I am more often than not confronted with a plethora of plastic. Source separation is rarely an activity at large gatherings. Recycling bins are usually absent.

I believe waste management at events needs to be part of the planning process, so that it is not an afterthought. The cost and ease of use of plastic dishes may seem appealing at first, however the long-term cost to the environment must be considered. Alternatives are available.

Cathy Nesbitt is the founder of Cathy's Crawly Composters. For more information on vermicomposting call
905-775-9495, or visit

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Cathy's Crawly Composters

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