Burlington—Registration is now open for the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Master Composter course, designed to teach the basics of backyard composting.

The online course, which will run from Sept. 13-Nov. 1, includes weekly modules, an online manual, quizzes, final exam and additional course materials. Optional live online Q&A sessions with instructors (archived for later viewing) will be offered on six consecutive Thursdays from 6-7 p.m., beginning Sept. 26.

The fee is $50 for Vermonters, $150 for out-of-state residents. Registrations will be accepted through the first week of the course.

To register, visit go.uvm.edu/emg.  To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, call Beret Halverson at (802) 656-1777 by Aug. 23.

Topics to be covered include the biology of composting, soil and decomposition ecology, site and container selection, "recipes" for making compost, management of the compost process, troubleshooting, disease control and worm composting. Participants also will learn about Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law (Act 148), which goes into effect in July 2020 and bans the disposal of household food scraps in trash.

Two tracks will be offered, one for Master Composter certification for individuals interested in sharing their composting knowledge with others through educational workshops and other community outreach efforts. This track involves a Saturday hands-on session and a commitment of 10 volunteer hours in the next two years and five hours annually in subsequent years to maintain active status as a certified Vermont Master Composter.

The second track covers the same course materials but the hands-on session is optional and volunteer hours are not required. This option is intended for anyone interested in learning how to compost but who does not have the interest or time to volunteer.

Questions? Contact the UVM Extension Master Gardener Program Office at (802) 656-9562 or master.gardener@uvm.edu.


Beret Halverson