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

Worm Away Newsletter

”Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then the worms eat you.
Be grateful it happens in that order.” ~ David Gerrold

In this issue ...


Back to School Issue

Vol. 7, Issue 6



Cathy sprouting at Windfall Ecofest.



Follow us on:
    View Cathy Nesbitt's profile on LinkedIn 



What did the woodworm say to the chair?

It's been nice gnawing you!





Researchers have confirmed that the simple existence of earthworms in the soil means that crop yields may increase on average by 25% and the weight of all foliage above ground by 23%.




Something new in Networking

Green Connections
A business group with a Green attitude.

Green Connections is now incorporated as a Non-for-profit organization.

Next meetings:

  • Sep. 23, 2015 (8:45 am)
    City of Vaughan
    Committee Room 245
    2141 Major Mackenzie Dr. Vaughan
  • Oct. 28, 2015 (8:45 am)
    Location: Aurora Town Hall - 100 John West Way, Aurora, ON

Guests always welcome.

Green Connections Film Festival

Mark October 1 on your calendar for the next instalment of the Green Connections Film Festival.

Our Next presentation:

Join us for a this very special presentation.




A new Health and Safety Reform Bill in New Zealand will classify worm farming and cat breeding as high risk, ahead of sheep, beef and dairy farming.

Alongside cats and worms, the category also covers the breeding of crocodiles and snakes.

During Parliament's Question Time yesterday, Labour MP Sue Moroney asked Mr Woodhouse how worm farming was more dangerous than cattle farming.

Ms Moroney also asked why the list deemed mini golf as being dangerous than "actual golf", why putting up curtains in a building was more dangerous than demolishing a building, and why driving a tourist bus was more dangerous than driving a school bus.

Labour leader Andrew Little called the legislation a national joke.

"It's overly complicated, ill thought out and rushed through to appease National Party backers, putting the lives of New Zealanders at risk."

- NZ Herald


Heck, I've just realized, I've got worms in my garden. I'll be sure not to be digging without having a big club handy in case I upset one or two of the little boogers and they try to bite me. - Treeleaper




Random Pictures

Canada Day in Newmarket

Visit our Photo/Video Galleries









Why didn't the two worms get on Noah's Ark in an apple?

Because everyone had to go on in pairs!



Featured Videos
of the month:

How our microbes make us who we are.

Something to consider before slathering up with anti-bacterial potions.

The community of tiny single-cell organisms living inside our bodies have a huge, and largely unexplored, role in our health. “The three pounds of microbes that you carry around with you might be more important than every single gene you carry around in your genome,”

Click here to see video








Sprouting Beans

Looking for a little variety in your sprouting beans?

Crimson, French, Small & Large lentils. Fenugreek, Chickpea, Speckled Pea and of course the main stay, Mung beans are all now available to spice up your taste buds.

Come to to find out more.




Save your money!

Want/need worms? Want to save the shipping?
Why not attend one of our upcoming events and pick up your worms at the same time. Come and see the worms up close and personal.

We often sell out at events, pre-orders will guarantee you can what you want.

To see when we will be coming to an event near you please visit our events page.





Jimi Hendrix - An innovative guitarist whose solos often feature creative use of feedback

So what do you think about the Worm Away Newsletter?

Have we wormed our way into your heart?

Feedback Form

We are looking for input for upcoming newsletters. Send us your comments, suggestions, stories and pictures. Please let us know of any wormy topics you would like to see covered here.


Please tell us what you think.
Follow this link to Feedback form.

Hello Cathy

I have had incredible success with the red worms. I started with 1 med sized bin, they expanded to 2 large bins and I believe that I could go another 2 large size bins.

Your site has been incredibly helpful for the success if my worms
So thank you for that.

Steven D



Immortality is one step closer as scientists
turn off the aging process in worms.

"I intend to live forever ... So far, so good." 
(As seen on a T-shirt)

Two researchers (Johnathan Labbadia & Richard Morimoto) from Northwestern University have discovered how to turn off the aging process in worms.

While studying the transparent worm C. elegans they found that cells abruptly begin to breakdown and age when an animal reached reproductive maturity. When an animal starts to reproduce a genetic switch starts the aging process by turning off the cell stress response in order to protect the cell by keeping important proteins. This is to protect its offspring and to ensure the line lives on. With the genetic switch disabled the cells are able to keep up their earlier level of resistance and better able to handle the wear and tear of growing older.

"Our findings suggest there should be a way to turn this genetic switch back on and protect our aging cells by increasing their ability to resist stress." - Richard Morimoto

Although it is a long way off to suggest that the same mechanism will work with humans, the researchers say there are enough common biological links to suggest that the same technique could be applied to other animals.

“This was fascinating to see,” Morimoto said. “We had, in a sense, a super stress-resistant animal that is robust against all kinds of cellular stress and protein damage. This genetic switch gives us a target for future research.”

The study originally published in the journal Molecular Cell, suggests that the aging process is not a series of different events but rather has a distinct cause.

"C. elegans has told us that aging is not a continuum of various events, which a lot of people thought it was," Morimoto said.


Answer to earthworm's ability to digest poisons
unearthed by scientists

Worms Neutralize Toxic Elements

For years we have known that worms have an incredible ability to digest and neutralize toxins. In fact one of our favourite stories comes from India where Red worms were placed in the grounds of a former tanning facility. The noxious chemicals that leached into the ground from the tanning processes were said to make the grounds deadly for humans for years to come. The Red worms ingested the lethal soils and loose chemicals and rendered them harmness.

Now it appears British scientist have discovered cracked the mystery of how earthworms can consume poisons that could kill most other herbivores.

Manuel Liebeke and Jakob Bundy of Imperial College in London reported in the journal Nature Communications that the earthworm’s gut contains a suit of molecules that neutralize polyphenols in plants. Polyphenol is the chemical that gives plants their colour, serve as antioxidants and discourage many ravenous grazers.

Worms have an abundance of chemicals called drilodefensins in their gut. These drilodefensins are molecules the enable the worms to digest toxic plant materials. The researchers calculate that drilodefensins are so abundant that for every person on the planet there may be at least one kilogram of the molecules in the worms under their feet.

If worms did not have the ability to digest different plant material we would be living in a very different world.

“Without drilodefensins, fallen leaves would remain on surface of the ground for a very long time, building up a thick layer. Our countryside would be unrecognizable and the whole system of carbon recycling would be disrupted,” Dr Bundy said.



Has your School Experienced Cathy's Edu-taining Workshops?

Informative and captivating workshops for primary, secondary and beyond.

Wonder of Worms & Simplicity of Sprouts

Worms are going to play an ever-increasing role in waste management, soil production and therefore food security. Sprouts are considered nature's superfood. Learn how to grow sprouts in your classroom in 24-48 hours. Worms for amending the soil and sprouts for eating are going to help solve world hunger. Find out how. Life as an entrepreneur and some of our research and collection projects are discussed.

Is this the year that Cathy visits (or returns to) your class with one of her high energy, interactive workshops? Have fun and meet your curriculum requirements at the same time.

These Worm Workshops are designed to get students excited about the environment and the study of worms. Students have fun learning how to setup and maintain a Vermicomposter. Explore the basics of worm biology and other environmental issues. Students can take home their own mini-vermicomposter.

Sprout Growing Workshops.

Sprouting is the practice of germinating seeds to be eaten either raw or cooked. Sprouts can easily be grown at home and in the classroom.

Sprouts are Considered Nature's Superfood!

Sprouts are so high in nutritional value that they are considered nature's Superfood. Packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes and phytochemicals, sprouts have been shown to help digestion, increase energy levels and provide a boost to the immune system.


"(Sprouts) supply the highest amount of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc. of any food per unit of calorie."
Lucie Desjarlais, RNC


Adding sprouts to your life adds life to your life.

Start sprouting in your kitchen for health and food security.


Vermicomposting Workshops

A fun and comprehensive demonstration showing all the basics of vermicomposting:

  • Set-up
  • Feeding your worm bin
  • The harvest
    • Maintenance
    • Worm biology

    Download a copy of our workshop flyer:
    Follow this link.

    Contact us today to book your


    Adopt-A-Worm Bin

    Sponsor a Worm Bin in your child's/grandchild's school.

    Are you a Parent, Grandparent, Aunt, Uncle or Community Member? Interested in enhancing the learning environment at a local school?

    Our Adopt-a-Worm Bin Program may be just the opportunity you are seeking.

    Many people realize the educational value of having worms in the class and have asked us how they can help make Vermicomposting part of their child's educational program.
    The Adopt-a-Worm Bin Program allows concerned Parents or Guardians to sponsor a Worm Composter or Worm-Workshop.

    Contact us today to find out more about this responsible and rewarding program.


    See what people are saying about Cathy's Worm Workshops:


    Hi Cathy,

    I wanted to let you know, we have had fabulous feedback from your workshops. Of the 3 eco-workshops we organized last year (yours, one on bees, one for gardening) yours was hands above in engaging the students. That from teachers and parents. Thought I'd share with you some of the quotes:

    Erin M.

    My students really enjoyed the vermi-composting workshops especially handling the wriggly worms. They learned a lot about what happens to food when it is discarded from the session, and having the vermi-composter in my room made many think about the "waste" they were producing. Many children brought apple cores back from recess and vegetable peels from home "for the worms". It was a great success!



    Ewan (age 11): "I liked it. The idea of a worm farmer is pretty cool and unique. I never thought about that before. They eat our food waste and convert it to soil."

    Madoc (age 9): "Worms are important because plants can grow more easily in ground with worms and with the compost that worms make. We need plants to live so we really need worms! Plus it's funny that we grow stuff in worm poo!"

    Meredith (age 6): "Awesome!"

    Duncan (age 5): "It was fun! It was dirty! They were squiggly and cute. Some were long and some were miniature. They have five hearts!"

    Follow this link for more Testimonials.
    Follow this link to book your worm workshop.


















    Upcoming Events

    Want/need worms? Want to save the shipping? Why not attend one of our upcoming events ... come and see the worms up close and personal. We often sell out at events, pre-orders will guarantee you can get what you want.

    Date: September 12, 2015
    Event: Aurora Farmers' Market & Artisan Fair
    Location: Aurora Town Park
    49 Wells Street, Aurora, ON

    The Aurora Farmers' Market offers a wide selection of produce from local farmers, delicious food vendors, and beautiful creations by talented Artisans. On Special Event days, they offer free music for everyone’s enjoyment and crafts for children. The Market is open Saturdays (rain or shine), June through Oct. from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Stop by the Cathy's Crawly Composters booth to talk to Cathy and see what all the excitement is about Sprouts and our new Sprout Grower.

    Date: September 26, 2015
    Event: Aurora Farmers' Market & Artisan Fair
    Location: Aurora Town Park
    49 Wells Street, Aurora, ON

    The Aurora Farmers' Market offers a wide selection of produce from local farmers, delicious food vendors, and beautiful creations by talented Artisans. On Special Event days, they offer free music for everyone’s enjoyment and crafts for children. The Market is open Saturdays (rain or shine), June through Oct. from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Stop by the Cathy's Crawly Composters booth to talk to Cathy and see what all the excitement is about Sprouts and our new Sprout Grower.

    Date: October 3, 2015
    Event: Holland Marsh Soupfest
    Location: Ansnorveldt (Holland Marsh), ON

    The festival will feature delicious piping hot soups, prepared by local restaurants and talented chefs, made with locally grown produce. Come to Soupfest and enjoy our soups, chefs and restaurants, farmers’ and artisans’ markets, farms, entertainment, and great live music. Find out how adding sprouts will give your soup a super nutritional boost.

    For a full listing and directions to all events please visit our website.



    Time to rethink what we think about
    our fruits and vegetables.

    Loblaws has launched a program to sell blemished, misshapen or undersized produce under the "No Name Naturally Imperfect" brand.

    Bags of Naturally Imperfect apples and potatoes are already being sold in select grocery stores across Ontario and Quebec and cost up to 30 per cent less than other fruits and vegetables.

    "If you were to grow produce in your backyard there's a lot that would grow that wouldn't look as pretty as what you would see in a grocery store. And Mother Nature doesn't grow everything perfectly," said Dan Branson, Loblaws senior director responsible for produce, floral and garden items.

    "I'd like to think if somebody were to take a No Name Naturally Imperfect apple and put it right beside a perfect No. 1 apple and closed their eyes and eat it, there would be no difference," Branson said Thursday.

    "Potatoes will often go into food service, but the smaller potatoes, its sometimes a real question what happens with those. So we're taking some of those smaller potatoes and this is where we're presenting it into a consumer pack for people to take home," he added.

    Branson said the lower-cost produce "improves accessibility to fresh fruits and vegetables for some people that may not normally be able to afford to have that access."

    It's also a win for producers. In the past substandard fruit and vegetables often weren't harvested and would go to waste.

    Loblaws is looking at rolling out the Naturally Imperfect brand nationally by the end of the year, with an expanded assortment of items available.

    Stores will continue to offer items that are safe to eat but might be close to expiry at a deeper discount.



    Worm: Q & A

    Puffed wheat in the worm bin?



    I have been searching the internet to find out if it's okay to feed old puffed wheat (has no added sugar or salt) to my worm bin.

    I could not find an answer but, I came across your website and I trust it enough to ask you what you think the answer is.

    Love your website,

    Jo, Edmonton, Alberta


    Hi Jo,

    Thank you for getting in contact regarding your worm bin.

    I have not added puffed wheat to a worm bin ... yet, but I have added other 'cereals' without salt/sugar. There is no issue in my experience. The worms will consume as with other organic material.

    When adding any new items to a worm bin, it is a good idea to add to a small section to see how the worms react to it.

    I am glad you took the time to write and ask your question.
    Let me know if you have additional questions.

    In gratitude,







    Cover of Bradford Times



    Liquid Lunch



    In the News


    • Liquid Lunch on
      Start sprouting in your kitchen for health and food security Cathy Nesbitt shows how everyone can grow fresh live-giving sprouts in their kitchen every day using Tony Hornick's easy-to-use sprout grower. Liquid Lunch on
      View Episode ...

    Film Screening

    • Nepal Film Screening THEME: How to make the world a cleaner place.
      Clean up Nepal in collaboration with Films for Action screened a number of short films on Saturday, 21 March 2015. Included in the 7 documentaries was a film titled Waste Land featuring Cathy.
      Cathy Nesbitt of Cathy’s Crawly Composters talks about the worm business and about how worms are going to play an ever increasing role in waste management, soil production and therefore food security. View Episode ...


    For all the wormy news please visit our website.



    Cathy's Crawly Composters

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

    To find out more about Cathy's Crawly Composters visit our website:


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