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New Master Compost Course Offered in Abbotsford

March 6, 2018

We need to clear the air regarding composting. For many of us, composting is positive. Unfortunately, for some of us, the word composting brings up negative or conflicting emotion, in part because of the increasing concerns regarding odour, or perhaps because the increasing amount of plastic bits that we are finding in our soils. For others, composting may not bring up much emotion at all, simply because we do not understand it.

In this new course, we will explore and explain the magic of the compost process, and why composting is so important to the health of our planet, and our future in it. Did you know that when we get the composting process right, we can smell it – in parts per trillion? Did you also know that when we don’t get it right, we can also smell it in parts per trillion? We will explore how our nose is so important in understanding the amazing microbial community that lives in our compost – and our soil.

You will have the opportunity to work with our “magic boxes” that help demonstrate and explain some of how physics, chemistry and microbiology work together in the composting process. You will meet Jerome, our new assistant with particular skill in measuring hydrogen sulphide – and to understand how and why this is important! You will learn how two composts that can look the same – can have such as contrasting effect on plants! We will welcome you to the world of worms, their role in composting and in soil.

Hands-on experiences with the “magic box” and the hydrogen sulphide analyzer help us understand more about the composting process.

This course builds on the Advanced Composting Course that I have taught in Victoria for the last few years. It also builds on the Compost Facility Operator course that I have taught in Abbotsford since 2006 – with more hands on in making and using compost.

This course is for all who are curious about composting and compost use, whether you are a composter, a regulator, a community member, an administrator, media, government staff, or just curious. This course gets us all down in the dirt together, as we explore how important our soil organic matter is, and how it protects us and helps us all to flourish!

We will explore regulation, what it is, what is important, and how we can advocate to make this amazing composting process a socially acceptable endeavor, and how we can ensure that our health and environment remains protected for us and for our children.

The course will be held at the historic Clayburn schoolhouse, a location with a long history of community learning. You will enjoy homemade meals each day, which possibly may include roast beef cooked in the compost pile (or we may just show you how its done). Happy hour is available at the end of the day – we are working towards enjoying it in a hot tub heated by compost!

The course is scheduled for April 4-6, 2018. See for more details.

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