May 5 to 11 is International Compost Week, building awareness of composting, and the importance of "feeding the soil."

What better time for Cathy Nesbitt, founder of Cathy's Crawly Composters, to look back on her 12 years of promoting vermicomposting.

Vermicomposting uses red wiggler worms to transform organic waste - from coffee grounds to eggshells and orange peels - into gardener's "black gold," rich compost and worm castings.

At the start of the 19th century, it is assumed that 100% of North American inhabitants composted and vermicomposted. It is a process that remains active today in only a few pockets of the modern world. While nations such as Cuba and Chile have embraced its benefits, further mechanized societies have left it behind.