Master Composter Series
Twice a year the Civic Garden Center hosts the Master Composter Training Series in collaboration with Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services. The classes are offered free of charge. Participants who take all three classes and complete 10 service hours can be certified Master Composters. You may also attend one or two classes of your choosing if you are not interested in the certification process.
Spring Dates: March 13, March 27, April 10 from 6:00-8:00 pm
Class 1: Why do we compost? Reducing waste, saving our soil, and growing healthy plants
Before we learn how to compost, we want to learn why we compost and analyze our soil’s needs. This first class will cover why we stopped using organic matter in our soil and what modern agricultural methods are doing to our soil. To build a foundation for the remaining series, participants will learn soil basics, including its chemical and physical properties, how these properties relate to healthy plants, and how to conduct a soil test. Analyzing your soil can help you know your soil’s specific needs.
Class 2: Soil Biology and Composting Methods
Participants in this class can explore our demonstration compost piles and discuss the pros and cons of various bins and tools. Come practice flipping and sifting, and discover the differences in open and closed compost bins. This class covers the most simple and straight-forward composting techniques, explores different ways to compost in place and how to use soil amendments like biochar. Finally, we will dive deeper into the benefits of compost from a microbial perspective: what exactly does compost do to soil? How do plants relate to the ecosystem of fungi, bacteria, nematodes, worms, and arthropods living in your finished compost?
Class 3: Composting in Small Spaces: Vermicomposting and Bokashi
By introducing red wigglers or effective microorganisms we can use the same basic principles as outdoor composting but apply them to more concentrated spaces. We will learn how to use these methods by actually building bokashi bins and worm bins. If you would like to take one home, you must order your vermicompost or bokashi system ahead of time.