Bernalillo County Extension Master Composter Program
Welcome to the Bernalillo County Master Composter website. The Master Composter organization provides basic composting classes for the general public and trains volunteers to teach these classes.
- If you would like to attend a composting class, please see Classes and Other Activities for the Public.
- If you would like to schedule a composting class for your organization, see Contact Information.
- If you would like to become a master composter, see 2014 Master Composter Training.
- If you have a composting question, please see Ask a Master.
- If you would like to know more about us or find composting resources, see additional links in the left sidebar.
And remember ... when in drought, spread the compost out!
News and Announcements
Master Composter Annual Meeting, Graduation, Potluck to Be Held Sunday, November 17
Guest speakers Steve Glass, microbiologist, and Yvette Tovar, NM Water Collaborative, will talk about their project to purify city runoff water using compost filters. The agenda will also include reviewing our progress the past year, handing out certificates and badges to new master composters, and recruiting new committee members. We hope all Master Composters and Interns can attend. Please see Activities for Master Composters for details about time, place, RSVP, and potluck.
Our New Flyer
Here is a link to our new flyer. It contains lots of good information about composting. The flyer is also available via the Flyer and Logos link under Resources in the left-hand column. (Useful to know when this announcement goes away.)
Recommendations for Composting in the Desert
Composting in New Mexico has its special challenges. John Zarola has written up recommendations for successful composting in the desert. For teachers, the recommendations are available as a one-page handout on our composting handouts page.
Learn About Bokashi Composting
Have you heard about Bokashi composting? It's a method developed in Japan that is inexpensive, easy, takes up little space, has no smells, doesn't attract pests, and requires no turning. The method makes it hard to find an excuse not to compost your kitchen waste! You can compost all the kitchen scraps you normally compost as well as meat, bones, and oily things. Jill Van Nortwick recently gave a talk to BERNCO master composters about Bokashi composting. Check out these powerpoint slides from the talk. Or, if you prefer, here is a PDF copy of the slides. The slides include a video about Bokashi composting. The video is made by a commercial company but keep in mind that you can do Bokashi composting in ordinary buckets.
Ask A Master
We've added a new resource, Ask a Master. Master Composters volunteer to answer questions on topics for which they have special interest, experience, or expertise. Go to Ask a Master for details. And if you are a Master Composter and would like to be listed on the page, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
New Herbicides Imprelis and Aminopyralid Can Contaminate Compost
Up till recently, herbicides commonly used in the home yard or garden did not contaminate compost since they break down in the composting process. However, the US Composting Council is warning us about a new herbicide, Imprelis from DuPont, which can survive the composting process and harm plants which are later grown in the compost. Care should be taken to avoid putting plants which have been treated with Imprelis into compost. Please see article from the Composting Council for more information. In addition, the herbicide Aminopyralid marketed by Dow AgroSciences, bearing brand names including Milestone and Forefront, remains active in horse manure up to three years. See article from BioCycle magazine, The Aminopyralid Challenge Continues. Update: DuPont has announced that it plans to issue a total recall of Imprelis following widespread evidence and complaints that the product has caused the deaths of trees around the country. See report in Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog.
We Are nmcomposters.org
You can get to our site via the URL nmcomposters.org. Master composters, please share it with your students. The URL, bernalilloextension.nmsu.edu/mastercomposter, works as well. Both will get you to the page you are on now.