The Why of Vermicompost?

Purpose in environmental initiatives is key. For me, if my intentions are too lofty I can find myself easily overwhelmed or defeated. This is a bit about how my interest in composting with worms has allowed me to live a more sustainable life by following simple enjoyment. This has grown into more than I could have ever hoped and I’m excited to have the opportunity to help others start on this journey.

I’m excitedly growing this small business from the ground up. It’s a surprise to me that I’m here. I am an accidental worm farmer and entrepreneur.

There are number of circumstances that brought me to this place. My passion for vermiculture is rooted in my early interest in agriculture and sustainability, which led me to my studies in soil science. The benefits of vermiculture are diverse and numerous. They include: diverting from waste streams; supporting healthy soil; and supporting healthy plant communities. I get right jazzed up about all of these things.

But my day-to-day interest in this hobby stems from the magic of watching these little creatures live, grow and evolve under my care (uhem… neglect). That’s it. I like to play with worms. They’re nifty.

Just like I don’t need to think I’m being a marine biologist to enjoy my fish tanks. Snails and african dwarf frogs with tropical little fish is such an interesting ecosystem. I share in this with my kids (5 and 8 years old). It’s pretty simple fun. We started this just to enjoy them. We keep our tanks going because it has held our interest – maintaining tanks, going to the fish store and just watching them. And somewhere in the middle, we accidentally learn about life, ecology, creativity problem solving and responsibility together.

I talk a big game about the good that can come from vermicomposting. However, it’s more like my fish tanks than you might think. I can’t change the world in a plastic tub under my kitchen sink. That feels too big.

When I do it just for interest and enjoyment, I accidentally divert food waste and cardboard from municipal waste streams; create a soil amendment and microbial inoculant to boost the health of my indoor and outdoor plants; re-use materials to house my worms; reap health benefits; and gain connection and perspective of my place in the environment and community in which I live.

If my mission is to fix global, systemic, intergenerational and multifaceted challenges I can become too afraid to get it wrong. If I try and fail and try again, good things can happen. I’m liberated to try more when getting it ‘wrong’ doesn’t feel like a global failure.

I sometimes struggle to feel like I can make a contribution big enough to matter. I know that sounds like a really glum outlook, but I know I’m not alone. Sometimes the world feels too bit for little me to change. Most of the time I’m enthusiastically doing my part and enjoy empowering other to contribute in ways that are meaningful to them. All I’m saying is when I’m not convinced that it even matters, the cool wiggles and fascinating lifecycle keep me coming back. I’ve enjoyed this hobby enough that I accidentally produce enough worms to be able to help others get started composting. I talk about my worms enthusiastically and sometimes I am able to share this enthusiasm and information with others. The surprises and learning that have come from this hobby are truly indescribable.

So, my question to you is: Why do you vermicompost? If you aren’t yet enjoying this hobby in your home, yard, office, barn… find out the basics of how to vermicompost and get started with your own worms!

Amanda

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