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Posts Tagged ‘Master Composters’

Saturday, January 22, 2011
10 – 12 noon
San Diego Botanic Gardens
230 Quail Gardens Dr.
Encinitas, CA 92024

Saturday, February 5, 2011
10 – 12 noon
Water Conservation Garden
12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West
El Cajon, CA 92019

Monday, March 14, 2011
2-4 p.m.
Welk Resort Farmer’s Market
8860 Lawrence Welk Drive, Escondido, CA 92026

Saturday, March 19, 2011
10 – 12 noon
Summer’s Past Farm
15602 Olde Highway 80
El Cajon, CA 92021

Learn about the ins and outs of backyard composting and vermicomposting at this free workshop! Workshop will include information about selecting a bin, maintenance, harvesting, and more! A limited number of compost bins and worm bins will be available for purchase after the workshop.

Click here to pre-register now or to view a full list of upcoming workshops!

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The Wriggly Wranch Worm Bin is designed with two different tiers. When the  first tier fills to the line inside the bin, you add the second tier and start feeding and add some new bedding. The worms will usually go wherever you are feeding them but oftentimes there are a few that stay behind. Here are a couple of tips from our Master Composters to speed up the process of harvesting:

1. Irresistible Foods Method: Add some melon or avocado to your bin. The worms will not be able to resist and will all  congregate in the same area  to eat. After a couple of days, physically move them where you want them to go.

2. Sun Method: Dump the contents of your bin on a plastic tarp outside in the sun. The worms do not like light so they will burrow to the bottom. You can even make cones of compost and take off the tops to speed up the process a bit.

3. Slurry Method: One of our Master Composters suggests putting some of your vermicompost in a bucket of water. Once in the bucket, the worms and compost will separate and you can quickly rescue your worms and put them back in your bin. Pour out the extra water and add your compost to your garden!

4. Waiting Method: Your worms will eventually move to other areas of your bin as long as you continue to feed there. If you happen to accidentally grab some worms with the vermicompost don’t worry too much about it. Red wigglers reproduce very quickly and your bin will not be affected.

Have any other tricks for harvesting?? Leave a comment and share them with us!

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The latest edition of the Solana Center Composter Newsletter was emailed on September 1, 2010. This edition includes information about worm tea, composting tools, and upcoming workshops and events! Click here to take a look!

For a complete list of past Composter Newsletters visit the Composting 101 page. Don’t miss the next newsletter! Click here to join our mailing list!

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Chopping up your compostables will speed up the decomposition process. The smaller the surface area of the material generally the faster it will break down. One easy way to do this is to chop up your materials as you collect them. For example, when you are cooking, you can chop up your scraps as you go and add them to your collection container. If you are working with dense woody materials, such as sticks, we recommend chopping them up or grinding them if you can as they will take a very long time to decompose. A tip from our Master Composters is to put your green materials from your yard in a bucket and use yard clippers to chop them up before adding them. Chopping up your materials is not essential. The process will just take longer.

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Grass clippings can definitely be added to your compost pile. Grass is a “green”, or nitrogen source. One caveat of adding grass to your pile, however, is that it has a high water content which can cause it to pack down and get slimy in your pile. This can be avoided by adding grass in thin layers and alternating with it dried leaves or mulch. If you discover a matt of clippings in your pile, just break it up with a shovel or garden fork and layer the pieces back into the pile.

Grass clippings are a great nitrogen source for your compost pile and can also be left right on your lawn as a natural fertilizer!

It is also quite beneficial to simply leave the clippings on your lawn as you mow. Grasscycling is a great way to provide your grass with natural fertilizer and saves work.

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A Master Composter turns a compost bin during a workshop.

El Cajon Composting Workshop
Saturday, May 15th, 2010
10am – 12noon
Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College
12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West, El Cajon 92019

We will cover backyard composting and composting with worms during this 2 hour workshop. A limited number of subsidized bins will also be available at the conclusion of the workshop.

Please pre-register by visiting http://www.solanacenter.org/1workshops.html or calling (760) 436-7986 x 222.

To view a list of additional free composting workshops, please click on the “Free Composting Workshops” tab located on the top right side of the page.

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The next Master Composter Course starts March 16!

Do you love to compost? Do you like teaching others about compost? If you answered “yes!” to either of these questions, the Master Composter Course may be of interest to you!

Dates: 5 consecutive Tuesdays – March 16, 23, 30 and April 6, and 13.

Time: 6-8:30pm

Location: City of San Diego Environmental Services Building, 9601 Ridgehaven Court, San Diego, California 92123

Application: Please click here

There will be a $5 course materials fee. There is also a required textbook, The Complete Compost Gardening Guide, by Barbara Pleasant and Deborah Martin. This book will be available for $25 at the first class session, payable by check or cash, or you may purchase a copy of the text elsewhere.

The Master Composter Course is conducted twice a year and is funded by municipalities in the San Diego region. The course is conducted in the classroom as well as at a compost demonstration site. It is hands on and fast paced; participants must attend all sessions. Optional field trips will be scheduled at the first class session.

In exchange for this training, course participants agree to give back 30 hours of volunteer service with the Solana Center in the form of educational outreach, such as assisting with workshops and outreach booths at community events, maintaining compost demonstration sites, and helping with school programs.

If you have questions about the course, please contact carlie@solanacenter.org.

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