Tag: compost

Compost Education Centre Spring Fundraiser on April 6th!

For-the-Love-Soil-Poster-2016Join us for our Spring Fundraiser to give back to the earth while having fun, chatting with friendly folks and bidding on fantastic silent auction items!

The wonderful musical talent that is the Blackwood Two will be performing their acoustic melodies and your ticket includes a pint of Hoyne beer and an appetizer buffet.  Tickets are $25 and are available online through Eventbrite.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will directly fund our school workshops and projects such as the Healing City Soils Project, an initiative offering free soil tests to analyze Victoria’s soils and create a virtual “soil health” map of Victoria. Fundraising allows us to continue these great projects and to educate children and adults about the importance of soil conservation, composting and creating and sustaining local food systems.

Bid on fantastic silent auction items generously donated by:


Brand new factsheets!

We are excited to share two new factsheets with you!  We have been getting lots of inquiries about tumbler composters and bokashi and we decided to put together a factsheet for each one to help answer your questions and spark your interest.  If the descriptions below spark your interest, check out the new additions on our factsheets page.

bokashiBokashi is a Japanese term meaning “fermented organic matter”. Different from composting, which is aerobic, it is an anaerobic process that allows a person to deal with a wide variety of food waste on-site. Bokashi harnesses the power of effective microorganisms (EM) dehydrated onto a cereal base to carry out the fermentation process . It is best used as a partner to a compost pile, because you will need a place to compost the ‘spent’ material once it has finished going through the bokashi process. It is a great alternative to the green cone food digester as it breaks down the same types of materials but doesn’t need sunlight or to be buried down 2 feet in your garden work. You can make your own system or purchase a ready-to-use unit.


tumblerIn general, tumbler composters are in the form of a barrel mounted on a stand so the unit can be turned or “tumbled” around a central axis.  They can be mounted horizontally or vertically, both work  well.  Turning these units easily incorporates air into the material inside the tumbler, which can speed up the decomposition process.  It is possible that you may get a finished product faster than with passive backyard composting due to the increased aeration that tumblers make possible.  However, beware of manufacturers that say you will have finished compost in three weeks or less – anything that looks finished in this short amount of time will be unstable and need to sit for at least 6-8 weeks longer to cure.


greenhouseWhen we built our new greenhouse wanted the plans for this project to be free and readily accessible.  As such, this factsheet includes a budget and materials list for the greenhouse, a list of the lessons I learned, and some photos of the building process.


Compost Educator Training this September!

The Basics:
The Compost Educator Program (CEP) is a comprehensive volunteer training program that has been offered by the Centre since 1992.

The CEP includes 10 hours of classroom, practical, and hands-on instruction.  It is spread over the course of two Saturdays.

The next session will take place on Saturday September 20 from 10am-3pm and Saturday September 27 from 10am-3pm.

Space is limited to 15 participants per session.

Cost is $50.

To reserve your space in the Compost Educator Program, please email Clare at education (a) compost.bc.ca or register online HERE.

Features of the training:

  •  Site tour, Centre services & staff orientation
  • Composting systems & methods
  • Compost pile maintenance & troubleshooting
  • Worm-bins & indoor composting
  • Answers for the public’s Compost FAQ
  • Hot compost pile building
  • Community educational outreach skills
  • Intro to permaculture principles & application
  • Organic gardening & soil building
  • Comprehensive compost manual that is yours to keep
  • Potluck lunches!

Following the training course, volunteers can lend their skills to the Centre as community educators and site volunteers.

Volunteer opportunities include:

outreach displayCommunity outreach volunteering involves staffing the Compost Education Centre mobile displays when we attend different events throughout the CRD, such as:

  • Moss St. Market
    Seedy Saturday
    Organic Islands Festival

Community outreach is a powerful tool to spread the ‘dirt’ on composting.  It’s a great experience for all involved.



garden volunteersGarden volunteering is a great opportunity to learn new skills and help out in the gardens at the Compost Ed Centre!  Work bees are held on the first Saturday of every month from 12:30-3:30.  Each one is focused on a relevant task in the garden for that month of the growing season.  We begin with a short theory lesson to give some background on the task and then get dirty applying the new knowledge in the garden.

Compost Ed goes to Mayne Island

This past week the Compost Ed Centre took a little day trip to Mayne Island to teach the folks there all about some advanced composting methods.  We gathered in the old Ag Hall and had a wondrous two hours of composting queries, information exchange, homemade lemon cake and strong cups of tea!  Vicki of the Mayne Island Recycling Society showed me the Mayne Island community garden, and I thought we could all take a page or two from their book.  Scroll on down to learn more (click on the pictures to enlarge)!

Awesome poster!
Garden Goddess
The guardian at the gate of the Mayne Island Community Gardens
Mayne CG
Beautiful plots!
3-bin labels
Their passively managed 3-bin composting system. After attending the workshop, Vicki was inspired to try building a hot compost in the fall!
3-bin rules
Golden Rules
Vicki in garden
What that compost helps to grow!
Garden candy
To make the gardeners’ experience even more meditative…
Amazing rainwater catchment system! 10 cisterns, all fundraised for, capture water off the metal roof of the nearby community centre.
water rules
Rainwater use is volunteer-managed. The cisterns’ water level is monitored and a weekly “fair water distribution” amount is determined, measured in easily-counted watering cans.
boat garden
Creative container
Vicki board
We couldn’t agree more with what the sign says!

A huge thanks to Mayne Island for hosting and inspiring us, we look forward to more trips around the southern Gulf Islands, spreading the compost word!