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Vermont Master Composter Course

A four-week online course, available through the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Master Gardener program, will be offered this fall on the basics of backyard composting.

 Class dates are Sept. 22, 29 and Oct. 6 and 13 from 6:15 to 9 p.m. Participants may either take part in live webinars where they can interact with the instructors or watch archived recordings of the classes at their convenience. The course will be offered statewide through GoToWebinar.

 The cost is $50, payable by Sept. 9. This fee includes the online training manual although printed copies will be available for an additional $15.

 Basic computer skills are required. To register go to http://go.uvm.edu/mastercompostercourse.  To request a disability-related accommodation please call the UVM Extension Master Gardener Program office at (802) 656-9562 by Aug. 25.

 Topics to be covered include the fundamentals of backyard composting, site and container selection, "recipes" for making compost, management of the compost process, troubleshooting, compost for disease control, worm composting and Vermont's new Universal Recycling Law, among other areas. The course will be taught by professionals from Vermont's green industry.

To become a certified Vermont Master Composter (optional), course graduates must volunteer for at least 20 hours within a two-year period for community or school composting projects, outreach efforts such as presenting talks or staffing displays at fairs, farmers' markets and other outlets or assisting with UVM Extension Master Gardener projects with a composting component. Once certified, individuals are asked to provide a minimum of five hours of community outreach each year.