Burlington--Composting is a simple, cost-effective way to turn food scraps and organic yard waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment for your garden and lawn. You can learn how this fall by registering by Sept. 12 for the 2018 Vermont Master Composter course.

The comprehensive course, offered through the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Master Gardener Office, runs Sept. 13-Nov. 9. It consists of eight online modules, six live interactive Q&A sessions with instructors and one optional hands-on session.

The cost is $50 for Vermonters, $150 for out-of-state residents. You will find details and the registration link at go.uvm.edu/vtmastercomposter. If needing a disability-related accommodation to participate, call the UVM Extension Master Gardener Program office at (802) 656-9562 by Aug. 22.

What will the course cover?

You will learn the basics of composting including site and container selection, the biology of composting, recipes for making compost and proper management and troubleshooting of the compost process. Other topics include soil and decomposition ecology, compost for controlling disease, Vermont Act 148 (the state's universal recycling law) and vermiculture (composting using worms).

When you successfully complete the course and final exam, you will receive a Vermont Certificate of Home Composting. If you are a Vermont resident and are interested in educating others about composting and its benefits, you may then participate in a 10-hour hands-on volunteer internship to become certified as a Vermont Master Composter.

Volunteer hours must be completed within two years and may include participating in school or community composting projects, writing articles for local newspapers, giving talks, staffing exhibits at public events or assisting with a solid waste management district outreach project or a UVM Extension Master Gardener project with a composting component. Once certified, you will be expected to provide at least five hours of community outreach every year.

Questions? Call (802) 656-9562 or send an email to master.gardener@uvm.edu.


Beret Kristin Halverson