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Cathy's Crawly Composters - Vermicomposting

Cathy's Crawly Composters

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The Times of New Tecumseth & Adjala Tosorontio

October 4, 2006


Worming their way out of class - Students at Father F.X. O'Reilly Catholic School in Tottenham are handed worms by the Worm Lady - Cathy Nesbitt
WORMING THEIR WAY OUT OF CLASS- FX students; James McGlade, Sabrina Monardo and Steven Hutchison are handed worms by the 'Worm Lady,' Cathy Nesbitt.

Photo by Wendy Soloduik

The Worm Lady Introduces
Vermicomposting at FX

By Wendy Soloduik

 

Grade three students at Father F.X.O'Reilly Catholic School in Tottenham welcomed some very special guests into their classroom last week.

The visitors were none other than 1000 Red Wiggler worms (and their descendants) brought in by Cathy Nesbitt, of Cathy's Crawly Composters.

Grade three teachers Ms. Heffernan and Mrs. Cresswell arranged for Nesbitt's visit after reading about her vermicomposting business in the September 6 addition of The Times.

Her visit coincides with the science unit the children are learning, which deals with soil varieties, leading into composting, and eventually into the plant unit.

During Nesbitt's presentation, students admitted that only about half of their families actually compost, and not many were sure what the worm's role in composting was.

QUICK FACT: A bunch of fish is a 'school,' and bunch on birds is a flock,' but what is a group of worms called? A squirm! A squirm of worms. (Didn't get it? Well don't feel bad, who remembers grade three anyways!)

In addition to delivering the facts on worms themselves, Nesbitt also allowed students to hold her worms, and watch a video that had been filmed at her home, and featured on YTV. Nesbitt showed the students what compost scraps looked like, and what rich soil the worms could turn it into.

More facts on worms:

  • If you cut a worm in two, you get two worms. WRONG. You'll get one worm (the end which contains the organs, or the fatter side) and the other half will die.
  • Worms come out when it rains, because their homes fill up with water, and they will drowned.
  • Worms don't eat meat, dairy products, oils, or seasoned items. Therefore no salad dressings, or salt and pepper in your compost please!
  • Cut holes in the tea bags you compost. Sometimes the bags themselves have synthetic fibers which the worms cannot consume, but they will eat the tea.
  • Worms are both male and female, have no eyes (they see with sensors) and can live up to 10 years.
  • Worms have sensors that tell them when a robin has landed, just as birds have sensors on their feet that tell them where the movement is in the ground. When the bird tries to pull the worm from it's hole, the worm has little hairs, similar to Velcro, on it's body that stick to the earth, thus a tug-or-war ensues.

The students were very excited to talk about their own experiences with worms, and had many questions for Nesbitt, including ones she had not been asked before.

Nesbitt concluded her school visit by encouraging the children to put their new vermicomposting facts into action, and by saying "I can see how excited you are about worms, as am I."


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Cathy's Crawly Composters

Bradford, Ontario
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