Vermivember – a Month to Remember!


~ Help me “Spread the Worm”!! ~


Feel free to LISTEN to an audio version of this post (not word for word – but quite similar) and sign up for the contest email list:

[UPDATE: Public access to the Vermivember e-mail list is no longer available. Feel free to drop me a line if you still want to get on the list and/or learn more about my upcoming course (to launch on Nov. 30, 2012)]

Or…continue reading below.

Here we are in a new month already, so it’s time to gear up for yet another “Win Worms Monthly” contest.

As the title of this post may or may not imply, this one is going to be SO HUGE that’s going to span an entire month. I even came up with a cheesey name for it (inspired by “Movember”/”Growvember”)!

People like us naturally get excited about happenings such as “Compost Awareness Week” – well, I propose we create a “Vermicomposting Awareness MONTH!!!”!

Let’s now take a minute to look at: “The GOOD”, “The BAD”, “The ULTERIOR MOTIVE”, and “The AWESOME”.

1) THE GOOD – My inaugural “Win Worms Monthly” was (in various ways) a great success! I received more than 200 “burning questions”, and I’ve already been responding to a fair number them (of course, MANY more to come, as we’ll touch on a bit later). Just generally, the contest seemed to get people excited and having fun – so that’s certainly “good” as well.

I’ll be honest, though – not everything went quite the way I wanted it to. This brings us to…

2) THE BAD – For some strange reason I thought it was a great idea to use Facebook as my primary place to receive contest entries. I even went so far as to say that I’d ONLY accept entries there (thankfully, I smartened up quickly on that front). Well, Facebook is all fine and good – and I still love it for connecting with lots of like-minded people quickly. But it’s definitely not without its limitations.

For starters – I was never able to get in touch with our winners from last month (and trust me, I tried multiple times in various different ways). I dunno if people just naturally ignore Facebook emails (I know I can tend to do that from time to time) or what, but it was the exact same result in both cases. I should mention, though, that this actually turns into a “GOOD” for the rest of you this month since those two prizes (2 x 1 lb of Red Worms or Euros) get rolled into this month’s prize purse (with a great deal more, I might add).

Another negative about Facebook is that it doesn’t provide a great means of keeping everyone in the loop consistently. Sure, some people might sit and stare at their FB news feed all day long, and thus catch every post etc – but really, how many people actually do that? What likely happens is that people tune in at various times, and mostly focus on what’s been posted recently.

Facebook also made it a ROYAL headache to track down people who “shared” last month’s contest, so I’m not able to put all of those people into the special draw I wrote about (those who WERE tracked down are of course still entered).

Anyway – my intent here is not to trash Facebook (I still love having the Fanpage and being able to reach more people as a result), but the long and the short of it is that I’ve set up a special contest email list this time around. This way I can get everyone who is interested in the contest (and/or other Vermivember happenings in general) all in one place – so as to avoid annoying those on the main RWC list who don’t wish to be involved – and I’ll have far less of a challenge when it comes time to track down our winners.


[UPDATE: Public access to the Vermivember e-mail list is no longer available. Feel free to drop me a line if you still want to get on the list and/or learn more about my upcoming course (to launch on Nov. 30, 2012)]


Ok – with the “BAD” out of the way (and yeah, I know it wasn’t really all that horrible! lol), let’s get to…

3) THE ULTERIOR MOTIVE – I pride myself on being a “straight-shooter”. I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m doing anything sneaky or underhanded here, so it’s important that I provide full disclosure about something else I’ve got planned for this month! I am planning to (THANK GOODNESS! FINALLY!) launch my vermicomposting course on Friday November 30th. I’ve even come up with a cheesey name for that day – “Black Gold Friday” (my take on “Black Friday” from the week before). Painful isn’t it? lol

I’m always leery about actively promoting anything to my readership, but GOLLY – this is monumental! (lol)
If you’ve followed me for a decent length of time you’ll likely know that I’ve been wanting to put together some sort of semi-definitive offering focused on the topic of vermicomposting FOR AGES. Last fall I THOUGHT I was close to doing so (more on that in a minute), but let’s just say things didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped and intended. On that note, let me very quickly reach out to those of you who supported me by getting involved in the “Complete Guide” pre-launch event! I’m SO sorry I dropped the ball so badly on that front (all I know is THANK GOODNESS you at least got the VB plans package for your troubles). Needless to say, this new course is YOURS once it’s available. No exceptions – no monkey business.

I like to think of it as “‘The Complete Guide to Vermicomposting’ + INTEREST”! Hopefully you will feel the same.
(that’s all I will say about that for now – but if you ARE one of those folks, rest assured you will be hearing more from me via the “Complete Guide” email list soon)

The bottom-line here is that I am really excited about the new course, I can’t wait to make it available – so heck YA, I want to make this month as exciting as I can!
You loyal followers are a very, very patient bunch – so you definitely deserve it. (and all you newcomers are in for some fun!)
8)

Let’s now move on to…

4) THE AWESOME – Here’s where things get fun! In light of how BIG this month is going to be, it only makes sense that our prize purse is pretty HUGE as well.

Here is where we are for prizes already (i.e. bare, bare minimum):

1) 4 x 1 lb of Red Worms or Euros
2) 5 full-access passes to the new vermicomposting course once launched.
3) 5 full-access passes to the VermBin Series Plans Package membership (which has REALLY come along by leaps and bounds over the last couple of months)
4) 3 life-time access passes for the Worm Farming Alliance.

That’s just what’s coming from me (and likely more than that) – but I am also going to be working hard to drum up a group of additional “sponsors” who will basically be willing to trade “eyeballs” for prize donations. My good friend, Jerry Gach (of Worm Inn fame! lol) is already on board so you can add at least one Worm Inn to the list (I’ll likely toss one in myself as well) – and I’m quite confident I can get at least a few more. NOTE: if anyone reading this has a prize you’d be willing to trade for some exposure during Vermivember, don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

A quick note for those of you who live outside of the US…
I always feel badly about kinda sweeping you guys under the carpet when I do these contests. Obviously, you can still win the e-prizes (nothing to sneeze at if I do say so myself), but I want to take things a step further this time around if I can. I am going to see if I can connect with international suppliers who are willing to help me get worms (etc) to any non-US winners we may end up with. I can’t promise to cover all parts of the world – my initial focus will be Canada, Europe and Australia – but we’ll see what we can do.

Now, about this contest ALREADY!! (sheesh – this has turned into an essay)

The theme of course is spreading the word about this wonderful field of ours (or “spreading the worm” as some might say) – and THAT’S what I’m asking you to do for this month’s contest.

YOUR MISSION (SHOULD YOU WISH TO ACCEPT IT) IS…

To come up with a way (or multiple ways) to spread the word about vermicomposting. This doesn’t need to be some sort of monumental thing either. Here are some potential examples:

1) Volunteering to give a presentation at a school – or holding some sort of small workshop
2) Putting an ad on Craigslist and/or elsewhere advertising free worms (i.e. sharing your worm stock with someone interested in getting involved)
3) Helping to get a friend or family member (ideally someone at least semi-interested) involved in vermicomposting
4) Creating a funny internet “meme” related to vermicomposting or some aspect of vermicomposting, and getting it to GO VIRAL!! lol
5) Making an instructional video about vermicomposting, uploading it to YouTube, then sharing it in as many places as you can.

That’s just a very small handful of ideas! While you are welcome to run with any of those – my main requests are: 1) PLEASE do something new – not something you have started already or that’s already been planned/scheduled etc, and 2) try to “think outside the bin” a bit here – see if you can add your own creative twist etc

Whatever you do – I want you to tell me all about it (ideally with pictures etc).

I will likely select a bunch of ones I feel are “prize-worthy” (again, this isn’t necessarily a “bigger is better” sort of thing) and then draw names.

Just so you know – apart from the main contest (just described), there will likely be at least a couple of other smaller semi-related contests during the month as well. This will be somewhat dependent on the sort of sponsor-support I can get.

Of course, one other “AWESOME” thing about Vermivember – prizes and ulterior motives aside (lol) – is that we’ll all be working towards fostering a greater interest in this field – not to mention just generally “paying it forward” a bit (someone likely helped to get all of US interested – now it’s our turn to do the same).


A very quick bit of additional info before I wrap things up here (if you made it this far, you pretty well ALREADY deserve a prize! lol). Rest assured there will be many other cool things happening this month apart from contest stuff. I have plans to continue on with some additional “unofficial” podcasts. My plan is to get serious about podcasting next month (when I’ll get set up via iTunes etc etc) – but for now I think we can just continue the way we have been.

I do have at least one or two formal topics I want to cover (“Flow-through Vermicomposting”) being the main one – but it suddenly occurred to me that it might be fun (and helpful) if I dedicated one or two sessions solely to answering your burning questions. Looking through the list recently, I realized that it would be a monumental chore to try and organize them all by topic (was a pain just trying to find the cold weather ones as it was – and I still managed to miss some of them!) – so I think this will be a great way to really fly through a bunch of them, while at the same time providing you guys with more of a full-range vermicomposting info session.

OK – this has become an eyeful and a half so I better leave it at that!
Don’t forget to sign up for the Vermivember email list

[UPDATE: Public access to the Vermivember e-mail list is no longer available. Feel free to drop me a line if you still want to get on the list and/or learn more about my upcoming course (to launch on Nov. 30, 2012)]

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Comments

    • John W.
    • November 1, 2012

    Yeah “Down with FaceBook”!!!! 🙂
    Just kidding…but not really

    • John W.
    • November 1, 2012

    I use to run a website for a church and on our email/blogs it would let people “like” or “tweet” the particular blog that they were reading.
    With the page we were using I could track down who “liked” the post.

    I see that your page has an option to like/tweet it. Can you tell from this page who clicked on the button?

    Might make an easy way to reward someone who liked it and will show you exactly who has done it. Like I tweeted it and see that 5 people have already liked it.

    Just a though.

    • Bentley
    • November 2, 2012

    LoL – I hear ya John. I’m certainly less impressed with FB (not that I’ve EVER liked it for sharing my “real life” stuff – just seems kinda creepy that people I knew from kindergarten are able to watch my every move! haha)

    As for the “like”-tracking, in all honesty it’s not that big a deal. It was more of an afterthought (rewarding people for “shares”) than anything. I’m not going to worry about getting people to spread the word about the contest this month (although – given the overall theme, perhaps it will happen anyway! lol). Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts though!
    Also thanks for the tweet – reminds me I need to get back to being a “twit” (oh wait…too late! haha)

    • Jackie Isler
    • November 2, 2012

    How about gifting an already started worm bin to like minded friends…..

    • Bentley
    • November 2, 2012

    Great idea, Jackie – assuming you yourself continue to vermicompost! haha

    • Leigh
    • November 2, 2012

    Operation Going/Growing Green!
    What about gifting the ‘finished product’ – vermicompost – and maybe a little packet of seeds to family, friends, and/or neighbors to sample so they can see what a difference it makes. Or they can add it to their houseplants or kitchen garden to renew the soil? . . . Sometimes the end result is enough to get people involved in the process itself. Maybe include something explaining what you started with (coffee grounds, kitchen waste) and how little time/effort/space it took. Or a card with your blog address on it. Then step back and prepare to enroll them in a 12 step worm/vermicomposting addiction course, lol!

    • Leigh
    • November 2, 2012

    Idea #2
    Start a Round Robin on Craigslist or a gardening site (such as GardenWeb). We used to do this with plants, seeds, etc. before Priority postage pricing started skyrocketing. We would get a list of all interested and what they were looking for (perennials, annuals, herbs, ornamentals) then one person would start the box with ‘extras’ they had from their garden. The next person would take from the box and add what they had to share to it. Obviously with worms this would be a little more shaky – shipping during hot or cold weather and all. But vermicompost, organic seeds grown in vc, could be shared. Or a local trade could be organized via Events on Craigslist. A meet and greet/swap for someone interested in getting started with worms. It would be a fabulous way to make new friends, share worms/vc, and maybe trade for things you’ve been looking for! I would gladly help someone set up a bin in return for say, knitting or crocheting lessons. Hmmmm . . . I like this Vermivember brainstorming session!!!

    • Leigh
    • November 2, 2012

    Idea #3 (is there a limit???)
    Donate a started bin or worms (including proper vermi-education) to a local rescue to auction off as part of a fundraiser. Right now a lot of rescues are hurting trying to cover food, supplies, medical costs for dogs/cats in need. Winter is always tough for rescues and they are always looking for fundraising ideas.

    • Bentley
    • November 3, 2012

    Great ideas, Leigh! Now decide which one (or ones) you want to do!
    🙂

    IMPORTANT – I will be providing more info about the main contest very soon, so make sure you are on the contest email list (not directed specifically at you Leigh – more of a general announcement)

    • Bentley
    • November 3, 2012

    Oh – and no limit on these by the way. I’m thinking about giving additional credits to those who do more than one thing (ie with each additional action you increase your chances of winning).

    Just make sure you document it well, and if possible provide some photos or other “proof” (I trust you guys – but it would be more fun for all of us to SEE what you are doing as well)

    Also – emailing your entry to me is probably the best bet.
    (again – will share all this info and more in my next email to the contest list)

    • The Garbage Guru
    • November 4, 2012

    What else do you need me to do? Lol!
    I hung up the facebook thing.Not only was someone trying to get into my facebook.But i also got tired of one of my cousins posting where he was eating,what the first mouthful of food was like,second,third,who just pulled into the parking lot,etc.Lol!
    I like Leigh’s idea! I got a few guys who metal detect to donate the money from lead sinkers they find and recycle to animal shelters,sea turtles, whatever? I been thinking about having a yard sale every other weekend with a donation for some vermicompost.All the proceeds go into an account i set up at the Humane Society in memory of my dad.

    • Robin
    • November 6, 2012

    I live in a small low-income complex (50 apartments). However, we have what I would guess to be about 1 acre of partially grass and open space. All of which is not being used except when the landscapers “mow-blow and go” TOTAL waste of money.
    Anyhoo, I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind for awhile now….Turning this waste of land and money into a lucrative worm/castings/ garden and ?????
    I hope I get the courage to do something about this.

    • Robin
    • November 6, 2012

    This is Totally out of my comfort zone as this would mean that I would actually have to get my neighbors on board by teaching(?) showing them the wonders of vermiculture, convincing the management of the complex that this is a GREAT idea.
    I’m not even sure I particularly like my neighbors…But what an Amazing accomplishment if I could overcome my fear and DO IT!!!!

    • Bentley
    • November 6, 2012

    That’s fantastic, Robin! That would definitely be an amazing accomplishment. I know exactly what you mean about getting out of your comfort zone (something I don’t do enough). It takes a LOT for me to even ask neighbors for their fall leaves! lol

  1. No kidding. We passed by a house
    with a bunch of bags full of leaves out front
    and I made my hubby go ask. lol.
    Hey got about 25-30 bags I didn’t
    have to rake myself. I’m not great
    at talking to strangers but I have
    been asked to speak to the local
    garden club and have a show and
    tell bin and I’ll bring some castings
    as well. No one has to wait to be
    asked. Go ahead and contact the
    local garden club and volunteer to
    talk about it. Spread the word. I
    also own a small button business.
    Anybody want a “I’ve Got Worms”
    button? People always have to
    stop and ask when they see it.

  2. ok live and learn . I guess I didn’t need to hit return in the comment section. OOpsie.

    • Gwen Ford
    • November 16, 2012

    My sister gave me a worm bin last year for my birthday and I’m totally loving it! She gets to have a worm bin in her office and it got me thinking that there is a lot of waste in my office that I could be collecting for my worm bin. Even better, why not have a bin IN the office!!!! So, I just got probationary clearance from my director and safety officer to have a bin under my desk. I’m also placing empty coffee cans around the office at coffee stations to collect used coffee grounds. And I’ve emailed my friends to bring in their spoiled veggies and fruits to feed the worms. Now to sit back and wait…. (I’ve emailed you photos)

    • Shaun Walsh
    • November 19, 2012

    We have a few friends in the neighborhood that my kids will play with there kids. I mentioned about my red worms in my garage.We started talking about it for a good hour or so and now she will stop by and bring the worms food. Well then she talked to more people and they have all decided that they want to check it out also. I have new neighbor friends, adults and children stopping by to see how the herd is doing. And they always bring more vegetable matter to compost. I have met a lot more of my neighbors since I have started this project and hopefully soon when I have a large enough herd I can start to sharing with them. I also have my first exhibit in the local farmers market with the department of agriculture, I will bring in some red worms to show the locals, and we will give out ideas, hints and tips on how to warm compost and compost with red wigglers. Red worms have made things interesting now.

    • Bentley
    • November 19, 2012

    Lots of great stuff, guys – just make sure you: A) Are on the Vermivember email list, and B) Send me some photos or other supporting materials (photos are great for anything you are doing in the “real world”).
    Thanks!

    P.S. Sorry Larry! I somehow missed you up there. I know you are out there “spreading the worm” daily so no need to do anymore than what you already do! lol

  3. @Shaun I want to live in your neighborhood. I talk about worms on a daily basis. They are constantly on my mind. Everyone around here gives me “the look” LOL. I am the crazy worm lady haha. Funny though after seeing my seedling experiment last year, they all want some of my worm poopie. I have offered to start friends off with a bin of their own but as of yet no takers. I have recruited a co-worker to help me rip up cardboard when we have a few spare moments waiting on a machine. Yay! (Tiresome chore) I’m still trying to get my husband excited about worms . He thinks my “worm spaghetti” looks like a scene out of a horror flick. I wish there was even one local who shared my enthusiasm for these amazing creatures. Never say never. Wish me luck everyone.

    • Leigh
    • November 23, 2012

    Okay, I didn’t have a chance to prep a worm bin to give away in return for a donation BUT I did harvest several lbs of castings from 2 of my bins. I am giving away 4 lbs of castings in 1 lb increments to the 1st 4 people who donate $15 or more to House of Hope Rescue, Inc. I wanted to do more but my work schedule just changed and I took on fostering a mama and her 9 puppies (they keep me hopping – and scrubbing! – anyone have any ideas on how to keep up with that many pups potty time????). I posted on my FB page and on Craigslist.
    The CL link is http://flint.craigslist.org/grd/3429322373.html

    • Leigh
    • November 23, 2012

    But I forgot to mention – I am still going to prep a bin and use it as a part of a fundraiser that the rescue is doing this spring :). The person who wins it will get the bin, the ready-to-harvest castings, and the worms.

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