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Worm Girl

McVety: She'll worm her way into your heart
Photo: Joseph Yarmush

Let Susan McVety unleash the vermicomposter in you

If you’re looking to compost with worms but don’t know how, Susan McVety will come to your rescue.For $10 McVety will deliver a yogurt container full of red wrigglers to your home. For $25 she’ll bring a "stylish" Worm Girl compost bin (a Rubbermaid storage bin with plenty of air holes around the sides near the top and a "handy/pretty sash covering the holes") complete with worms, and a pamphlet on worm care basics. McVety offers the service on weekday evenings and weekends, and technical assistance and follow-up visits as needed. She’ll even baby-sit your worm bin for a while if you run into problems.

"It’s something that I enjoy," explains McVety, whose day job and degrees in molecular biology and genetics have nothing to do with worms. "I feel like people need me."

McVety began advertising on Craigslist last year and has a MySpace page devoted to worms and vermicomposting. When she wanted to start vermicomposting – a practice any yard-less apartment dweller can indulge in, to turn kitchen waste into high-quality soil for your houseplants – she found companies advertising on the Internet were charging $80 for worms and wouldn’t deliver in February. Calls to different Éco-quartiers finally yielded one that sold worms. But getting there wasn’t easy. "I was working 9 to 5," says McVety. "I had to take half a personal day to go and pick up worms because I was so desperate.

"Not everyone’s going to take a day off work to go pick up worms," McVety says. "So that’s why I’m offering this service. It’s sort of complementary to what the city is offering, which is very limited."

For Worm Girl’s MySpace page, got to www.myspace.com/wormgirlmontreal.

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