Category: Blog

10% off composters for green gifting this holiday season

cards

Are you looking for greener gifts for friends and family this holiday season?  We have many options to help you celebrate with the amazing benefits of composting!

  • Beautiful “Compost Is the Heartbeat of Your Soil” cards (pictured at right) for 2/$5 or 5/$10
  • If you’d like to buy a composter for a pal but are worried about how to wrap it, we offer gift certificates that allow the lucky gift recipient to pick up their new Earth Machine or Green Cone Food Digester at their convenience
  • All composters are 10% off for the month of December, whether you’re buying for yourself or a loved one
  • A wingdigger is a great present for anyone looking to level up their composting powers
  • Do you have a friend who loves to learn?  You can buy them a gift certificate for a free Compost Ed Centre workshop of their choice!
  • Seeds are 50% off for December and make great stocking stuffers!
  • Compost Education Centre memberships are a gift that gives and gives – purchasing them helps support our children’s programming, and the lucky recipient gets two free workshops, 10% off any composters they buy from us, and a 10% discount at many garden centres around town

We are open our normal hours of Wednesday-Saturday, 10:00am-4:00pm right up until Friday December 23rd, so feel free to stop by our one stop compost shop and do some browsing!

Save

Save

New Healing City Soils Factsheets

HealingCitySoils_LogoThe Healing City Soils project has been completed for 2016! Almost 140 soil samples were tested in Victoria and Esquimalt through this joint project with Royal Roads University and the results made into an interactive map (coming soon!) to inform the community about potential for soil contamination and best practices for growing healthy produce in back and front yards and boulevards.

As well, we are thrilled to announce that two of our new factsheets from the Healing City Soils project are now complete.  These factsheets will help urban gardeners learn more about soil contamination and protect their health while growing their own groceries.

Soil Contamination:  Whether you are already growing food or would like to begin a garden, it’s a good idea to learn more about your soil so that you can grow food safely. Urban soils are often compacted and nutrient deficient, and can sometimes contain heavy metals and other contaminants as a result of historical industrial activity, past and present land use and proximity to pollution sources (e.g. a major road). Soil contaminants may get into or onto our veggies and fruits and have negative health effects over the long term. Gardeners can take many simple and inexpensive actions to reduce their exposure to urban soil contaminants. Soils can be managed, improved and made healthy again so that you and your garden can thrive.  Find the factsheet here.

Best Practices for Healthy Urban Gardens:  We recommend that all gardeners follow healthy gardening practices to help reduce exposure to heavy metals and other contaminants. Generally, maintaining a neutral soil pH, adding organic matter and compost to your soil, mulching your garden soil and thoroughly washing your garden produce can reduce your exposure to many soil contaminants so you can enjoy the many health benefits of eating fresh garden-grown fruits and vegetables. Find the factsheet here.

Save

Save

What on Earth? Stories Rooted in Land and Nature, Nov 4th, 7:30-9:30

Storytellers_Guild_Fundraiser_Poster_webJoin the Victoria Storytellers’ Guild for an evening of stories rooted in land and nature.

You are welcome to come to listen or can also bring a story of your own to share. Stories can be of different lengths up to 10 minutes or so. Shorter stories are welcome, too. They can be folk tales, fairy tales, myths, legends, personal stores (happened to the teller or someone close to them), can have some singing or response from the audience. They must be told “by heart”, that is, not read from text or with the use of notes.

Admission by donation at the door, with all proceeds going to support the Compost Education Centre’s programming. Tea and cookies will be provided

When:  7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, Friday, November 4th

Where:  1831 Fern St., the Quakers’ Meeting Hall.

 

Fall Organic Plant Sale on Saturday August 27th!

AugustPlantSale Poster 2016Our annual August Organic Plant Sale is coming up on Saturday Aug 27th, 10am-2pm at the Compost Education Centre, 1216 North Park St!

The sale is a great chance to get local, organic veggie starts for winter growing! Come on out to the little sister of our spring organic plant sale and get your greens for the winter. Kale, broccoli, cabbage, salad greens, culinary herbs, medicinal herbs and much, much more will be available.

Farmers:

Save

You’re invited to the Compost Education Centre AGM on Sat April 23rd!

oca and jolliesIt’s that time of year again where we gather to review the past year, our plans for the new year, enjoy delicious food, and learn something new!   Join us for our AGM in our urban oasis in the heart of Fernwood at 1216 North Park Street.   The AGM will take place from 1:00-3:00 on Saturday April 23rd.

Our knowledgeable Site Manager Alysha will be leading an interactive site tour through our beautiful demonstration gardens where you can learn firsthand about the many sustainable systems and permaculture techniques we have in place, including our new aquaponics system, rainwater harvesting systems and the many options we have for on-site food waste reduction and diversion.

Everyone is welcome to attend the AGM.  Members who have been in good standing with the Compost Education Centre have voting rights at the meeting.  Your input is vital – so we hope to see you there!

To view the report in PDF format, click here.

Rainwater Harvesting Education Day is April 16th!

Rainy-Days-Compost-Ed-Centre-2016-Poster-Letter (1)We are thrilled to be hosting two great rainwater harvesting workshops, as well as a stormwater management specialist from the City of Victoria who will be on-hand to answer questions!

But that’s not all — our wonderful friends at Van Isle Water  are offering all workshop attendees a coupon that can be redeemed for 15% off all rainwater harvesting materials!

INTRO TO RAINWATER HARVESTING, 10:00am-12:00pm, $20.   Register here.
This introductory workshop is perfect for people who are keen to start learning all about rainwater harvesting. The workshop will define and explain watersheds, lay out the principles of rainwater harvesting, define terms such as greywater and blackwater, and go over the laundry to landscape system of rainwater containment using techniques such as cisterns and earthworks.

RAINWATER HARVESTING INTEGRATED DESIGN, 2:00-4:00pm, $20.  Register here.
This workshop will help you get started designing a rainwater harvesting system for your household. We will cover site assessment, water budgeting, design work, and evaluation of different systems. Please bring a plan/overhead view of your site if possible, as we will be doing hands-on work.

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.