My vermiculture adventure started in November 2018 a couple months after I returned to Texas from my eco-road trip . Having spent the previous seven months up at an intentional community in Oregon, I wanted to continue my greener living with something easy I could do.
I saw a DIY worm bin class advertised online with the Texas Worm Ranch, and figured it might be interesting. Little did I know how big these little guys would become in my life after I got my first worm bin going!
I’ve had a very interesting roller-coaster of a career track, and wouldn’t want it any other way. I began my marketing career at a boutique automotive firm and then worked my way up to larger communications agencies. While I learned and my skills grew, I felt like there was still something missing. Passion. So I took a step back from a traditional path to find it. Through environmental education and adventures in sustainability, I found a career track that I can be passionate about while using my seasoned marketing skills.
The list below starts with my most recent job and goes back in sequence below:
As an Information Specialist, my job was to create marketing material for environmental education and outreach for Texans across the state. I joined a few months before the 2020 pandemic. We were actually evacuated from our building due to potential exposure when little was known.
I’ve coordinated the 6-12th grade video contest, drafted original blogs and marketing materials, developed marketing campaigns, assisted with website updates, and much more!
Here’s a list of famous people (and locally famous icons) I’ve met along my way in life. They are all some how related through either my eco-travels, my conservation career, or my general eco-interests. Most of these people I’ve met while in Texas, which goes to show there’s a growing interest in eco-thinking in Texas.
I’ve included a brief bio and how I’ve met each person. I also included a video of each person for better context. (You might not consider some of these people to be famous, but they are well-know in local movements.)
Famous Person: Marty Raney
Homestead Builder, Master Stone Mason, Hunter & Mountain Guide
“Marty Raney does the teaching and travels helping other homesteaders learn the ways. He is often joined by daughter Misty who is a good carpenter and a farmer and son Matt a proficient hunter. Their journey is chronicled on the Discovery show “Homestead Rescue.”
Marty was who I was most excited to see at the Mother Earth News Fair! I’ve watched nearly all of his Homestead Rescue episodes. He’s an inspiration for another way to live, while also making homesteading popular on TV.
Here are some of my favorite architectural spots from my travels. Not all of these sites are located in Texas, but many have a roundish or natural material feel to their construction. Those are elements I truly admire in my ideal world of construction too. Check out each blog post for more pictures aside from the ones featured below!
Architecture Spot: Village Farms
“Village Farm features an initial phase of 40 home lots, and an additional 112 in phase 2. Amenities include a general store and cafe, community kitchen, pathways and sidewalks connect homes, farms, gardens, a school, neighborhood pocket parks and commercial areas into a seamless network reminiscent of a traditional village. A wide variety of activities and events, including pop-up restaurant nights, a weekly farmers market and cooking classes for kids and adults, foster community engagement and connectivity among residents.”
“Community First! Village is a 51-acre master planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness. A development of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, this transformative residential program exists to love and serve our neighbors who have been living on the streets, while also empowering the surrounding community into a lifestyle of service with the homeless.”
This is a collection of my personal projects, most of which are gardening-related. I also have a few projects related to vermiculture, a hobby I picked up years ago trying to improve my waste practices. Check out each project blog post to see more details and follow my creation process.
Project: The [RE]verse Pitch Competition
I decided to participate in the [RE]verse Pitch Competition through the city of Austin. It’s an entrepreneurial competition like Shark Tank, only the difference is that materials are pitched in reverse to the entrepreneurs. I created vermicomposting bags made from Austin Eastcider’s excess sugar Supersacks.
I built a worm casting sifter, or a panning trommel, to help better separate my worms from my castings. I found a worm casting sifter DIY video online and recreated it. Overall, I would recommend a different style and have it mechanically powered instead of manual.