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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