Posts Tagged ‘Solana Center’

The next Master Composter Course starts September 27th!

Learn the ins and outs of composting, meet new people, and teach others in the community about composting!

Dates: 5 consecutive Mondays – September 27th – October 25th

Time: 6-8:30pm

Location: Encinitas

Application Required: Please click here

The Master Composter Program is designed to extend composting information to the public through volunteers who have successfully completed a comprehensive training program. There is a $30.00 materials fee, payable at the first class session. There is also a required textbook, The Complete Compost Gardening Guide, by Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin. This book will be available for purchase at the first class for $25.00, or you may purchase a copy elsewhere.


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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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Solana Center has been selected as a recipient of Jimbo’s Naturally Grocery Stores’ Wooden Nickel Program!jimbos_natur

How it works:

  • Bring your reusable shopping bags to Jimbo’s to shop.
  • For as many bags of your own used, Jimbo’s will give you the choice of a US nickel or a wooden nickel minted by Jimbo’s.
  • If you choose the wooden nickel, you will have the opportunity to donate it to the Solana Center.

Click here to find a Jimbo’s near you.

Why donate to Solana Center? The Solana Center provides environmental education throughout the County of San Diego. Our programs include: school composting and recycling, household hazardous waste education, free electronic waste collection, free composting workshops, compost bin sales, and more. For more information about the Solana Center visit our website at www.solanacenter.org.

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Aerators increase the air flow in your bin without the physicality of turning the bin with a pitchfork.

Too lazy to turn your compost bin? Is your bin not easily turned? Does your compost bin smell yucky? If you answered yes to any of these questions, a compost aerator could be the right tool for you!

Aeration (or the addition of air) is a very important ingredient in your compost pile. The microbes breaking down all the material in your compost pile need air to survive. These microbes are constantly using up the available air so by turning or aerating your bin, you are ensuring they will continue to thrive. When there is not enough air in your compost pile, decomposition turns anaerobic. In anaerobic decomposition, a different variety of microbe is breaking down material without air. The digesting microbe lets off sulfur which means the compost pile can start to smell!

This aerator is rotated into the compost and then pulled straight out.

Aerators come in two main styles. They either have wings or they look like a corkscrew. In the picture on the left, the green aerator is rotated into the compost pile to the desired depth. It is then pulled straight back out. The aerator below is pushed straight down. As it is lifted, the “wings” at the end of the aerator spread out, moving material and allowing for air flow.

The "wings" on this aerator spread out as it is pulled upward.

This aeration method of pushing or rotating the aerator into the compost pile and then pulling it back out is less time consuming and requires less physical exertion than turning a compost pile with a pitchfork. Aerators do increase air flow in the pile but not to the extent that turning the entirety of the pile would. If you want to get compost quickly, turning the whole pile is the most successful method. If you do not want to spend the time, are looking for something less physical, or do not have compost bin that is easily turned, an aerator is a great alternative to increase air flow in your compost pile.

The Solana Center now has aerators for sale! The aerator we are selling is the green corkscrew model in the top and middle picture. They are on sale Tuesdays and Thursdays here at the Solana Center for only $20!

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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 microbes in a compost pile are truly amazing – they can break down almost anything made of natural products. There are many items that people throw away not realizing that instead, they could throw them into their compost pile. Below is a list of things one usually does not think to compost!

  • dryer lint
  • butter wrappers
  • nut shells
  • natural fiber cloth
  • pet or human hair
  • napkins and paper towels
  • chopsticks and toothpicks
  • seaweed and kelp
  • cotton balls and cotton swabs (not the ones with the plastic sticks)
  • toe and finger nail clippings
  • old leather wallets, belts, and gloves
  • pencil shavings
  • feathers
  • crumbs
  • corks
  • muffin and cupcake tins
  • sticky notes
  • ashes
  • vacuum cleaner detritus

Questioning if something is compostable? Give us a call on the “ROTline,” (760) 436-7986 x 222 or email us at compost@solanacenter.org.

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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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