Burlington--Are you interested in composting, but don't know how? You can learn the basics of backyard composting through a six-week online course offered this fall through the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Master Gardener Office.

The Vermont Master Composter course will run from Sept. 26 through Oct. 31 and has seven online modules, four of which include live interactive question and answer sessions. You will learn about the biology of composting, site and container selection, "recipes" to make compost and how to manage the composting process. The course also will cover troubleshooting, compost as a means of disease control, worm composting and Vermont's new universal recycling law.

Registration is $50 for Vermonters, $150 for out-of-state residents. Sept. 15 is the deadline to register. Go to www.uvm.edu/mastergardener for details and the registration link.

Call the UVM Extension Master Gardener Program office at (802) 656-9562 by Aug. 29 to request a disability-related accommodation to participate. This also is the number to call if you have any questions, or you may contact Lisa Chouinard at master.gardener@uvm.edu.

When you have completed the course, you have the option of seeking certification as a UVM Extension Master Composter. You must be a Vermont resident and will be required to volunteer for at least 20 hours for community or school composting projects within the next two years.

You can complete these hours by giving talks, writing articles, staffing exhibits at public events or helping with a UVM Extension Master Gardener project that has a composting component. As a certified Master Composter, you will be expected to provide a minimum of five hours of community outreach every year.

Sign up for the course today, and you will soon be turning your food scraps, grass clippings, leaves, garden debris and other organic wastes into "black gold."


Beret Kristin Halverson