I was given worms 12 years ago, by my aunt. They were from her grade 3 classroom and came to me in a rubbermaid bin. I was half-hearted in my interest at the time, and in all honesty, I thought worms were gross back then. Not only that, but I was a mother for the firs time, and overwhelmed by the laundry and general exhaustion this created, let alone having worm care at the top of my mind. They essentially turned to mush, due to neglect after a few short months in my basement, and for this I am truly sorry.
My mom adopted what was left of the mess and purchased a high end “Can-O’-Worms” worm bin for about $500. The worms began to thrive, and she began dividing off tupperware containers full of worms to give to interested adoption agencies; that is, neighbours, garden friends, interested family members, and so on.
In the meantime I moved to New Zealand with my husband and 3 very young children. While there, I filled my itch to garden by volunteering at the local community garden. I had envisioned transplanting seedlings, or harvesting produce, but on day one I was sent to sort the worm bin. “We need some castings to mix with the soil” I was told and he pointed to where the worm bin was. This indefinitely cured my worm-phobia.
I returned to Canada a year later motivated to start my own business. I dabbled in gardening for people, and grew this into full time work by the time the kids started school. I eventually added on vermiculture as not only a hobby, but as a way to earn some winter income. This was about 8 years ago now.
My mom had given me her Can-O-Worms as a parting gift when she moved to Vancouver island, taking just a handful of wrigglers with her to add to the soil in her greenhouse. As my worm-rearing confidence increased, so did my presence as a vermiculture expert in Calgary.
I began a public speaking career that involved giving vermiculture presentations to elementary-aged kids, as well as to community adult groups.
My ego grew, and I suddenly had this idea that I wanted to be the best worm producer in town! I started searching for more information from professionals around the world, to see what advice I could glean. It was at this point that I began realizing that internet information is not always the most reliable.
I had set myself up for my first major mishap with worms; a blossoming ego, a competitive streak, and trusting the internet; all leading to disaster. After having been incident-free for over 3 years I lost almost all my worms in one night due to my overzealous efforts…
To Be Continued…