UVM offers online composting course

BURLINGTON — Backyard composting is a cost-effective way to reduce waste — and keep organic matter out of the landfill — while improving your yard and garden soil. And it’s easy to do.
You can learn the basics in four short weeks through an online Master Composter course offered by the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Master Gardener program through GoToWebinar. Classes will be held from 6:15-9 p.m. on Sept. 22, Sept. 29, Oct. 6 and Oct. 13.
You have the option of either participating in live webinars on those dates, which allows interaction with the instructors, or watch archived recordings at your convenience.
The deadline to register is Sept. 9. The fee is $50, which includes the online training manual. You may request a printed copy for an additional $15.
Register athttp://go.uvm.edu/mastercompostercourse. If requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate, call the UVM Extension Master Gardener Program office at 802-656-9562 by Sept. 9.
In the course you will learn the steps to turn vegetable and fruit scraps, grass clippings, leaves, garden debris and other organic wastes into a nutrient-rich mixture to improve soil fertility. Classes will cover selection of the site and container, formulas for making compost, management of the compost process, troubleshooting, compost use for disease control, Vermont’s new Universal Recycling Law and worm composting.
After completing the course, you have the option of becoming a certified Vermont Master Composter. To earn certification, you are required to volunteer for a minimum of 20 hours within a two-year period.
This may involve giving a talk on composting; staffing displays at fairs and field days, farmers’ markets and other outlets; or assisting with a school, community or UVM Extension Master Gardener project with a composting component. Once you are certified, you are expected to provide at least five hours of community outreach each year.

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