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My Worm Composting & Life Update

Worm Ball Anyone?

Hey guys it has been quite awhile since my last blog post. It’s funny how I struggle to decide what’s most useful and relevant. I have 10 different blog posts that have been sitting and I can’t seem to get them “just right” for publication… and so they sit. I decided enough is enough, time to get back to it and share what’s going on in my world! It has been a whirlwind year both personally and professionally and I can’t wait to get you up to speed!

As most of you may know, I am a nurse and this darn night-shift life is taxing! I love my job but sometimes I feel like I eat, sleep and breathe nursing. I do enjoy my worms though and what a huge meditative “escape” it can be at times. Worms and my side worm business are a great distraction from the everyday stressors that we all have to deal with. I figured I would take this opportunity to share what has been going on and what’s in the works.

Before We Get Started:

A huge thank you to all my supporters, friends and mentors in the worm world! I wouldn’t be able to do it without everyone in my corner supporting me! Shocking fact: I am both introverted and very insecure and nervous about “messing up”. I am told I come through very confident and authoritative but I feel far from it. I am working on that! Working on personal development and being the best person I can be both in my personal life and professional life as well.

Bullies have been a little more vocal lately and it has been hard for me not to fall into that little negative trap of feeding into a bunch of B-S. It was suggested to me that giving those bad apples the time of day isn’t worth it and as obvious as that is, I needed to hear it. Why worry about the haters? I have so many cheerleaders and supporters and you guys are the ones I actually want to be here for!

That being said, let’s all remember some etiquette and finesse when we are online. I can see now why social media can be so harmful to young people and their self-esteem because I see the damage to my own psyche at times. Negative and aggressive comments don’t serve anyone and a little love and kindness go a long way. Disagree all you want but remember to be tactful and polite when doing so. Productive conversation is where its at!

A Year in Review (So to Speak)

The Conference:

Amazing Lineup of Speakers

I will try to keep this post as short as possible but I can already see how it may end up being a little novella. Bear with me! Back in November I attended the NC State Vermiculture Conference which was absolutely eye-opening and an insane opportunity to meet so many like-minded people and learn about all the science behind why what we are doing is so incredibly impactful on the environment and the future of waste management. Interested in attending in the future? It’s worth every penny.

Click here for the NC State Vermiculture Conference Info

The Podcasts:

Around the same time as the conference, I was approached by Kevin at Epic Gardening about being featured on his podcast after one of my loyal YouTube subscribers had reached out to him. I was featured on a week-long series devoted to all things worm composting. The short 8-10 minute segments can be heard here:

The Crazy Worm Lady Week Podcast

Shortly thereafter I was also approached by Jill McSheehy at The Beginner’s Garden about being featured on one of her podcasts. I was blown away that my channel was growing and my subscribers were hooking me up with some fantastic people to talk to. The hour-long podcast can be heard here:

The Beginner’s Garden Podcast

The Experiments:

Anyone Need Some Eggshells Ground Up?
  1. I successfully “over-wintered” some worms in an outdoor garbage can: Over-Wintering Worms
  2. I ran a reproduction experiment: The Reproduction Games
  3. I started a cool 3-way composter developed for children to watch worms at work: 3 Chambered Composting
  4. I started some Carbon Only Experiments
  5. I ran a Neglect Experiment (leaving worms for 103 days with no food or bedding)
  6. I started ANOTHER Urban Worm Bag and a VermiBag Max
  7. I still have the Sand vs. Eggshell Experiment
  8. I started ANOTHER Forbidden Foods experiment
  9. I started a Coffee Only Bin
  10. I started a brand new education series on Worm Bin Basics

So many different experiments, mini-experiments, live streams and work behind the scenes have been fantastically fun for me. I continue to learn all the time and I love to be able to share all of these with you guys!

The Reproduction Games hit some major hurdles and needed to be ended early, but the Neglect Experiment, Over Wintering Worms Experiment and Carbon Only bins have been so much fun and quite insightful.

Over-Wintered Worms Bin

Exhausted yet? I am! It has been so much fun to grow as a channel all the way up to 2,500 YouTube subscribers currently as I write this blog post. I have grown from about 500 subscribers to 2,500 in about a year and that poses its own challenges and pressures. I am trying to juggle it all to keep the excitement going!

The New Business:

Breeding Trays

Oh how dare I leave this to the end? I have started a huge undertaking in breeding worms and selling cocoons through the website (check out the store) which has been some of the hardest work I could have ever imagined. Props to all the professional worm breeders out there, no one can truly understand the amount of hours and work that it takes. I know I didn’t! It has been so much fun learning about the different types of worms, the rate in which they breed and how to get the best cocoon laying possible based on slight changes in how I run the trays.

I am raising red wigglers, European Night Crawlers, and African Night Crawlers for cocoon sales currently and if you add those bins to all of the other systems I have running I am well over 60 “systems” going INSIDE my house right at this very moment! Worms probably outnumber dust spores at this point, hah!

In Conclusion:

It has been such an amazing year (since I last posted) and I have put tons of hard work in but it has been equally rewarding. I am so proud of where this community is going. I think we are definitely converting people who never thought they could possibly stomach having worms into full-blown worm nerds! What more could I ask for?

My goal from day one was to educate, invite people along for my journey and to make worm composting fun and more accessible. I think we are making progress for sure. There is no right or wrong way to go about composting and I hope through some of my experiments I have been able to show that! What are you waiting for? Grab yourself a tote and get started!

** Although never required, I certainly appreciate any support I can get in my ventures. I put in 15+ hours every single week on worms, worm videos, editing, collaborating and working on sales. If you feel so inclined, I am linking my PayPal which is way outside of my comfort zone but we all start somewhere and every little bit helps to keep me afloat. I am working hard to get my business up and running, bring the best content possible, entertainment and education. I thank you for your support. http://Paypal.me/EmilyLeuba**

Mating Red Wigglers
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