Hello my name is Anna de la Vega, founder of The Urban Worm. Welcome and thank you for visiting our site and joining the earth loving activist community, you are a hero!
The philosophy of The Urban Worm is inspired by the pioneering economist and environmentalist Ernst Fritz Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful a study of economics as if people mattered and founder of the NGO Practical Action. In the early 70’s when global industry was moving towards greater dependency on finite fossil fuel Schumacher was advocating the use of appropriate, low input technologies for global, localised development and wellbeing.
In 2010 I was fortunate to witness the role appropriate technologies were playing in alleviating poverty in Nepal whilst working alongside Practical Action documenting their projects as a freshly graduated Photojournalism student. This experience showed me the meaning of resilience and shaped my love for the people and the landscape. It is with deep sadness that a country as already vulnerable as Nepal is needing to rebuild its communities after being hit by devastating earthquakes.
Returning to the UK with a greater understanding of the environmental implications imposed upon countries as vulnerable as Nepal who bare the brunt of climate change I was inspired to further my studies in Human Security & Environmental Change (MA), specialising in Urban Agriculture & Urban Food Security. Although organic gardening had long been a past time it was only 4 years ago that I truly acknowledged the power of the earthworm to provide unprecedented solutions in organic waste management and organic gardening, this being after a very good friend donated an unused wormery- thank you Scarlett Lee.
In December 2013 I was awarded as a winning finalist for the Women in Social and Environmental Enterprise (WISEE) programme, funded by Change Agents and RBS. Meeting other female entrepeneurs who wanted to change the status quo of business as usual inspired my aspirations and gave me the confidence to begin my enterprising worm composting jouney. I think that Fritz Schumacher (as known by his friends and famiy), the maverick of his time, would have been an admirer of the worms and a stong supporter of The Urban Worm as an enterprise promoting the circular management of natural resources.
Empowering organic, local food movements is key to building resilient, sustainable communities and in order to achieve this we need to be producing our own steady supply of superior growing matter and fertiliser, which comes in the form of worm poo, otherwise known as worm castings or ‘Black Gold’! We can all make our own ‘Black Gold’, even a container the size of a shoe box will house a few hundred worms.
No matter how insignificant and small our actions may seem in overcoming the adverse challenges of our time, we can influence and inspire positive behaviours can great change. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi 'be the change you wish to see in the world'. Let's get worm composting!
'To talk about the future is only useful if it leads to action now'
Ernst Fritz Schumacher