This page has important information for individuals that have received confirmation from Green Action Centre that they have been accepted in the 2018 Spring Master Composter Course.

Personal Information Form

To enable us to better organise the course and to gather some personal information for our records, please fill out our Master Composter Personal Information Form before the start of the course.

Green Action Centre is committed to your privacy and collects personal information only with your consent.  Personal information is used for internal purposes or to communicate with you and will not be shared with other third parties without your permission.

Course Payment

We prefer that the $100 course fee be paid before the start of the class.  You can pay on-line by clicking on the button below which brings you to the Pay Pal website which gives you the option to pay by credit card if you don’t have a Pay Pal account.  If you use the credit card option, you’ll note at the top that the Master Composter Course has been pre-selected for you.

If you prefer, you may pay by cheque or in person with cash.  Cheque are to be made to Green Action Centre.  Once you have completed the course along with your volunteer hours, you can decide whether to have a $50 refund or donate it to Green Action Centre.

Course Outline and Details

Please note: Course outline is subject to change

Day 1: Friday, May 25th, 6:00-9:00pm Lord Roberts Community Centre (725 Kylemore Avenue)

Welcome and Introductions: Sylvie Hébert – With simple icebreaker questions, we will get a chance to learn a little bit about each other. We will cover housekeeping and logistical details, and hand out your training manual and other Green Action Centre handouts.

Intro to Green Action Centre and Composting Program: Teresa Looy – Green Action Centre is a non-profit environmental charity that focuses on providing practical green living tips for a more sustainable society.  Our programs focus on composting, waste reduction, active transportation, workplace commuter options, and active routes to school. We also have a social enterprise called Compost Winnipeg, which will be covered in a later session.

Backyard Composting Basics: Maureen Peniuk, Master Composter – Before you learn the details, start with the essentials. Maureen will go through the basic steps to an efficient backyard compost bin as well as intervention to prevent common mishaps such as unpleasant odors, unwanted insects and rodents.  This presentation provides a model for what you could deliver as one way to complete your volunteer hours.

Day 2: Saturday, May 26th, 12:30-5:00pm, “A Place to Grow Gardens” (near Lord Roberts Community Centre) and Lord Roberts CC (725 Kylemore Ave.)

Course and Manual Overview : Sylvie Hébert – Sylvie will get you more familiarized with the course sessions, expectations and dig deeper in the training manual.   Reminder: It’s time to pre-order your worms if you want to start your own vermicomposting bin on June 2nd/9th.

Volunteering for Green Action Centre: Teresa Looy – What does it mean to be a Master Composter?  This session will cover what is expected of you as a Master Composter volunteer, what types of activities you can do for the required hours and how you will be recognized for your contributions.  Green Action Centre offers a variety of volunteer opportunities that involve the promotion and education of composting in the community but we encourage to find your own.

 Compost Doctor: Sylvie Hébert – This will be your opportunity to get your hands dirty! We’ll play doctor by diagnosing the compost piles and evaluating how active they are by using visual clues, and tools such as an aerator and a thermometer.  Moisture will be assessed with the help of a squeeze test.   You will prepare some tests for compost maturity to be analysed at a later date.

Soil Health: Mick Manfield, Master Composter – This basic introduction to the soil health will give a brief overview of soil texture, structure, chemistry and biology as well as the benefits of adding compost to our soil.  We will finish off by performing soil composition and texture tests.

 Benefits and Barriers Activity: Teresa Looy – What are the existing barriers that prevent citizens from composting? What are the benefits to the process?  This activity aims to explore those questions, and examine how we can most effectively support more people to begin and continue more sustainable practices like composting and other waste reduction practices.

Day 3: Friday, June 1st, 6:00-9:00pm, EcoCentre Boardroom (303 Portage)

Compost Microorganisms: Fernand Saurette, Master Composter, Université de Saint-Boniface – To fully understand the miracles of composting, Fernand will walk you through the complex and diverse world of microorganisms.  These critters (bacteria, protozoa, nematodes etc.) work tirelessly to break down organic materials.  Fernand will be bringing his microscope to enable you to take a closer look at living microorganisms.

Compost Winnipeg: Jaret Olford, GA staff – Jaret will give a brief overview of Compost Winnipeg, Green Action Centre’s social enterprise, highlighting some of the successes and challenges of our compost collection operation in this city.

Food Waste: Teresa Looy – Composting is great, but in a zero-waste framework, it’s actually the end of the line! We’ll talk about food waste, the scale of the problem, and why it might be happening in your life. You’ll come away with resources to evaluate how much food you waste and ideas about how to reduce that waste, which you’ll be able to pass on to your community.

Day 4: Saturday, June 2nd 12:30-5:00pm (or June 9th RAINDATE), People Garden (Corner of Darling and Balfour – near Riverview Community Centre)

Compost Detective: Sylvie Hébert – You and your colleagues have been given the task of analysing mysterious compost samples from unknown compost bins.  Put on your detective hat and figure out how mature each sample is by using your senses.  Once that is figured out you can determine where each sample was taken from which compost bin.

Vermicomposting Basics: Jen Unwin, Nature’s Perfect Plant Food – The wonderful world of vermicomposting offers a whole new way to see the decomposition of organic matter and the miracle of Red Wriggler worms.  Learn from a professional vermicomposter how to maintain a worm bin and keep those critters happy.  Plus we’ll have worms available if you pre-order so you can start your very own bin.

Volunteering & Q&A Roundtable: Teresa Looy – As you embark on your journey to promote composting within your community, let’s talk about your ideas for outreach and volunteering activities. This will also be a chance to review and clarify any questions or uncertainties you might have about the composting process.

Tour of Riverview Community Garden: Linda Olsen, Master Composter – Linda Olsen is a well-known Master Composter in the GA Centre community. She has been engaged with the Riverview Community Garden for several years and has a vast knowledge of composting.  Join her on a tour of the garden where she will share her story of how she became a compost “evangelist”.

Day 5: Tuesday, June 12, 6:00-9:00pm, EcoCentre Boardroom (303 Portage)

Current Affairs in Composting: Daphne Titterson, Manitoba Sustainable Development – Daphne will provide an overview of the status of organics diversion in Manitoba, reviewing provincial targets and priorities and highlighting various composting operations across Manitoba.

Potpourri: Sylvie Hébert – We’ll split up and run through a series of activities and challenges to review the knowledge you’ve gained over the course! You’ll have a chance to play with the Red Wriggler worms in Green Action Centre’s very own vermi bins; test your knowledge about what does and doesn’t go in the compost bin; play a review game, and analyse the results of our compost maturity test (Remember? We started it on day two).  Chances are you’ll learn some new stuff too.

 Wrap-up – That’s it!  This is the time to fill out the course evaluation, receive your interim certificates, and say our goodbyes – but not for long! Spring is a busy season and there will be lots of opportunities to volunteer. Plus, watch for tours & training opportunities ongoing.

Compost aerators for sale

Green Action Centre has compost aerators for sale (the same kind that were sold at the City of Winnipeg bin sales).  They are very popular among the public and our Master Composters.  They are $20 including taxes.

You may pay by cheque or in person with cash at any time during the course.  Cheque are to be made to Green Action Centre.  If you prefer, you can pay on-line by clicking on the button below which brings you to the Pay Pal website which gives you the option to pay by credit card if you don’t have a Pay Pal account.  If you use the credit card option, you’ll note at the top of that page, the aerator has been pre-selected for you.