Our Site Manager and Community Education Coordinator is happy to come to your organization and share knowledge about the topics listed below. Online options are also possible and workshops can be delivered to your group on Wednesdays through Saturdays. Daytime offerings are preferred but evenings are also possible.
Custom workshops are also available, please be in touch using the form below to share what you are looking for. Composting Basics, Worm Composting and Soil Life workshops can be shortened for a 1 hour long “lunch and learn” format.
To book a workshop, call us at 250-386-9676 or get in touch via the contact form at the bottom of the page.
Scroll down to view the workshops that are available for booking.
Meet Your Instructor
Kayla Siefried (she/her) is a settler in Lekwungen Territory and grew up in Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory. Kayla is the steward of the Compost Education Centre demonstration gardens and the curator and main educator of the Adult Education Program. She can be found growing seedlings for plant sales, weeding and planting out garden beds, flipping hot compost, arranging expert instructors to teach workshops, or out in the community teaching about soil health, organic gardening, and Do-It-Yourself tasks that increase our climate resilience.
Kayla holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, and she continued on with practical hands-on permaculture training, gardening and farming internships in various places on Turtle Island and beyond.
Kayla is passionate about sharing her knowledge with people young and old through formal and informal education. She’s facilitated youth programs for sustainability all across Canada, Guatemala, and Cambodia, and has a zest for travel and adventure.
Kayla sees the act of growing food and stewarding the soil as one that can heal on many levels. A keen sustainability activist, Kayla finds meaning in advocating for and living an environmentally sustainable life that involves bicycles, healthy food systems, and a good amount of outdoor dancing!
This informative session focuses on what it takes to produce an amendment for your garden that is rich in beneficial microorganisms and nutrients! We’ll cover the 6 factors for composting success, how to choose the best composting system for your needs and how to increase the rodent resistance of your compost pile.
Advanced Composting aims to broaden the scope of participants’ knowledge of composting methods. Topics covered will include dynamic accumulators and hot composting, compost tea, in-situ composting methods and humanure.
Everything you need to know about indoor vermicomposting. Topics covered include starting up, maintaining and trouble-shooting a worm bin compost system. A few other small space composting systems are discussed.
All about the really important tiny lives in your soil. We’ll start by speaking to soil structure and texture and move quickly into the world of the soil food web! We will explore the microbe services that the tiny lives in our soil provide, and how these contribute to a healthy, vibrant garden.
Want to grow your own groceries but not sure where to even start? This tip and info rich workshop is designed for beginners who want to get their hands dirty and start producing fresh produce in their backyards or in containers. We’ll cover soil health, basic gardening techniques like watering, weeding and mulching and so much more.
Here in Victoria good planning makes it possible to harvest produce from our gardens during every month of the year. This presentation will show you how to make your garden more intensive by planning crop rotations, using protective covers and understanding how winter growing works!
Permaculture is a sustainable design theory modeled on natural ecosystems. This workshop touches on permaculture history, ethics and principles, and scale-able ways to apply the theory to your garden, home and life.
We offer guided tours during which participants will gain an in-depth understanding of the many ecological gardening techniques and processes at work on the Compost Education Centre’s site. Topics covered include attracting pollinators, permaculture guilds and food forests, organic vegetable growing, soil stewardship and rainwater harvesting.
Learn the basics of how to preserve the season’s abundance. We will learn the basics of hot water bath canning, dehydrating, freezing, storing, and fermenting. Preserving foods is not only a delicious way to taste summer in the dark rainy days of winter, but it is also an act of sustainability and creates more security in the food system.
Start brewing your own yummy, good for your tummy, fermented beverages with this crash course in Kombucha, Milk Kefir and Water Kefir!
Having mysterious histories, these fermented, probiotic rich delicacies are known for being full of good things that promote overall digestive wellness. They are delicious and satisfying and there is a great number of ways you can flavor your goods! In this workshop we’ll go over the basics of how to ferment kombucha and kefir, and we’ll learn (and taste!) how to create effervescent kombucha with unique flavoring, like purchased kombuchas so often have.
Ever dream of a life where you create no waste? With some thought and planning, it’s possible! In this workshop, we’ll explore a typical home – from the bathroom to the kitchen, the garden to the living room, and identify a variety of ways that you can go waste free by making simple changes in your everyday life. At the end of the workshop, we’ll each make a commitment to an action that we will hold each other accountable to in weeks to come. Bring something to write with (an upcycled scrap paper journal perhaps?)
Ideal for apartment buildings, stratas, condos or anyone wanting to educate a group on how to best use this amazing organics disposal system. The Green Cone is our most popular strategy for complying with the Capital Region-wide ban on organics to the landfill. This workshop includes: -One hour explanation of how to use the Green Cone to its full potential, -Paper copies of our Green Cone Digester Factsheet to distribute to each unit in your complex -Member pricing on your first 2 Green Cone purchases -Ongoing support via our hotline
In this special attentive offering our staff will walk your site (home, community garden, school, workplace) with you to discuss options and locations for composting systems, help with maintenance strategies, or troubleshoot existing compost systems. The in person assessment will be followed up by a site specific report which will include recommendations for physical composting systems as well as programmatic recommendations and opportunities specific to your situation and needs. Option to have further support from CEC staff to install new composting systems if desired.
Ever wonder what to do with all those tomatoes? How about the epic amount of beets your neighbor just gifted you? Or just want to Do-It-Yourself and make your own berry jam to enjoy in the dark days of winter?
In this workshop we will talk about the basics of safe produce preservation using the hot water bath method of preservation. You’ll get to taste some yummy home canned goodies, and will come away with a basic idea of how to can the season’s abundance safely, and have a list of resources to consult for further learning.
This workshop requires a stove. Option for participants to go away with something they preserved in this workshop for an addition of $10 per person.
Growing healthy seedlings for your garden is incredibly rewarding. Starting long season plants indoors or in greenhouses requires particular care, attention and tools. This workshop will cover those topics as well as how to start your seeds, how to care for them, how to harden them off and transplant them for maximum harvest.
Soil is capable of supporting plant life and is vital to life on earth, yet we understand very little about its complexities. During this workshop we’ll look at the soil ecosystem and the microbiology that helps us grow nutritious food. We’ll go through how build healthy soils, organic soil amendments, and how to ensure your plants have the soil ecosystem needed to thrive.
Growing veggies, flowers and fruits is not only for the garden – growing in containers can be an incredibly rewarding and abundant way to add nourishment and local veg to your meals. In this workshop, learn about what types of containers are the best to use, how to replenish nutrients and choose the right soil, and what varieties of fruit, veg and flowers are best grown in containers.
Did you know that you can not only preserve vegetables, but also make them into sources of healthy bacteria, simply by adding salt? At this workshop, we’ll talk shop about the basics of fermenting vegetables and there will be a demo of how to make sauerkraut. Go away with a recipe and method to make your own batch!
Learn the basics of how to make a successful gluten free sourdough starter, which flours are the best for gluten free bread baking, and methods for how to make wholesome home-made loaves of bread. We’ll start by discussing the background of what fermentation actually is, and perhaps even taste some yummy delicacies.