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Friendly Worm Guy – Jeff Sonnenburg

Jeff Sonnenburg | The Friendly Worm Guy

A little while back I mentioned that I had been helping a worm farming friend put together a website for his worm biz. As a show of his gratitude he sent me the batch of European Nightcrawlers I have been writing about.

Well, I was finally able to free up some time to work on the site today and it is looking a little more presentable. I figured now was as good a time as any to ‘let the cat out of the bag’. It is still a work in progress, but I definitely want Jeff to be able to get the ball rolling with his online venture. Letting my loyal RWC readers know about it is probably a good place to start.

Jeff ‘The Friendly Worm Guy‘ Sonnenburg is a worm farmer located up in Massey, northern Ontario (Canada), who specializes in raising European Nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis). For anyone familiar with the province, Massey is located between Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie. It can be a wee bit chilly up in those parts during the winter, but it is one of my favourite areas of Ontario (absolutely gorgeous).

Jeff has been worm farming for a few years now, and (based on my interactions with him) really seems to have a passion for it! He also works as a cleaner at one of the local schools and raises Gelbvieh cattle (which undoubtedly provide him with some of his ‘worm food’).

Eisenia hortensis

Thus far, Jeff’s main market has been the local fishing community (where he got his ‘Friendly Worm Guy’ nickname), but he has been expanding into the home/school vermicomposting market (has made some presentations at local schools) and aside from worms, also sells high quality castings.

If you are in the market for European Nightcrawlers or castings, and are looking for a helpful, honest supplier, I highly recommend you get in touch with Jeff. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him and learning more about his business.

Again, here is his website:

Just as a bit of an aside

Me offering to help Jeff with his website came about as part of a small experiment for me. Aside from worm composting, one of my interests (and what I ‘do for a living‘) is web development/promotion – which is not to say I’m a ‘web designer’, by the way. I’ve come a LONG way in terms of my abilities to put together a functional website, but I’m still working on the ‘making it look pretty’ part!

Anyway, given my interest in web stuff and my passion for worm composting, I thought it might be fun to offer my services to anyone hoping to get up and running online (and of course generate some website traffic for themselves). One thing I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of worm farmers (and regular home worm composters) who are still relatively new to the web, and are a little unsure about how to put together their own website, let alone have their voice ‘heard’ amidst all the online noise. One of my goals is to get as many people as possible interested in worm composting – so what better way than by helping a legion of worm fanatics share their passion online (as I myself am doing).

All that being said, I’m not 100% sure I’m ready to hang out my shingle in that department just yet, since it takes a lot of time, and I’m not sure I could make it as economical as many would require (since I have a family to feed, and can’t do it all for free). I’m thinking that perhaps a better approach is to go with the ‘teach a man to fish’ idea (rather than giving him a fish). That is to say, creating a course (with videos, ebook etc) that walks people step by step through the process of creating a presence online. This way I could create something that is a bit more ‘hands-free’ (for me) while providing even more value at a much more affordable price (than if I actually did all the work for each client). Still pondering that one though – if you think you might be interested in something like that definitely fire me an e-mail, and I’ll likely proceed based on interest levels.

Back to Jeff’s site (sorry about that Jeff!), I definitely don’t mean to give the impression that it was a hassle to help him with it – the truth of the matter was that it’s been a great learning experience – providing me with the perspective I needed to formulate the conclusions mentioned above – and I’m also really excited the opportunity to help him find his voice online (he deserves it!).

I’m helping one other individual during this mini beta-test of mine, but have not heard from him in awhile (he reads the blog, so yes this is me trying to get his attention – haha!). I’ll definitely share his site as well once we get things up and running over there!

Ok that’s enough of a tangent for one blog post! Thanks for listening to me ramble.

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Written by Bentley on January 4th, 2008 with 3 comments.
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Get your own gravatar by visiting Edward
#1. January 9th, 2008, at 8:49 PM.

Hi Bently,
1. I am looking for a Canadian compost worms seller. Are you planning to help Jeff to sell online?
2. After “4 Worm Update – First Cocoon!” I don’t see any RSS feeds from your site.

Get your own gravatar by visiting Bentley
#2. January 9th, 2008, at 9:45 PM.

Hi Edward,
I’m sure Jeff will be happy to discuss that further with you. I’m not in any sort of business partnership with Jeff, if that’s what you are asking. Just helping him get started online (as part of the small beta test mentioned above).

As for the RSS feed, that is very odd. I have the feed in Google Reader, and it shows the most recent post for me.
Hopefully tht’s not a widespread anomaly!


Get your own gravatar by visiting bob mattice
#3. January 4th, 2009, at 3:03 PM.

looking for five ton of castings to buy in bulk. If you have that much what is your price per ton. has too be pure castings,not compost.thanks bob.

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