Classes and Other Activities for the Public

Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters

small cartoony sketch of compost bin

Our classes include the art, science, materials, methods, and benefits of various composting techniques. Please see individual class descriptions at the bottom of this page. New classes will be added as they are scheduled. Be sure to check again if you don't find a class that works for you. And, details might change so please check for revisions.

Classes are FREE and open to all ages unless otherwise noted. Registration is required for most activities. Welcome!

Please note: Many of our classes have a slide presentation. If you'd like a copy, bring a flash drive to class and, in some cases, we might be able to copy it for you.

02/22/2019
Friday
Composting With Worms: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm at Los Volcanes Senior Center, 6500 Los Volcanes Rd NW (map to 6500 Los Volcanes NW). We are sorry. The class is now full and we cannot take any more registrations. The class is available at other times and places. See below for details. Instructor: Mel Chavez.
02/27/2019
Wednesday
Home Composting Basics: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Los Ranchos Agri-Nature Center, 4920 Rio Grande Blvd. NW, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107 (map to 4920 Rio Grande NW). Cost is $5 payable at door, collected by the Agri-Nature Center. To register, send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Sponsored by the Bernalillo County Extension Service. Presented by the Bernalillo County Extension Master Gardeners. Instructor: John Zarola and Rhea Trotman.
02/27/2019
Wednesday
Bokashi Bucket Composting: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Bear Canyon Senior Center, Room 5, 4645 Pitt NE, Albuquerque (map to 4645 Pitt NE). To register call 505-767-5959 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Mel Chavez.
03/06/2019
Wednesday
Raised Bed Gardening and Composting: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Palo Duro Senior Center, 5221 Palo Duro NE, Albuquerque, NM (map to 5221 Palo Duro NE). We are sorry. The class is now full and we cannot take any more registrations. Please check back. We will try to schedule more of this class. Instructor: John Zarola.
03/13/2019
Wednesday
Home Composting Basics: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Bear Canyon Senior Center, Room 5, 4645 Pitt NE, Albuquerque (map to 4645 Pitt NE). To register call 505-767-5959 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Mary Green.
03/21/2019
Thursday
Composting in Tumbler Bins: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at North Valley Senior Center, 3825 4th Street NW, Albuquerque (map to 3825 4th Street NW). To register call 505-761-4025 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: John Zarola.
03/23/2019
Saturday
Composting with Worms: 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm at Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors Blvd NW, Albuquerque (map to 6500 Coors Blvd NW). To register, call 505-897-8831 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Mel Chavez.
03/29/2019
Friday
Improving Desert Garden Soil: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Los Volcanes Senior Center, 6500 Los Volcanes Rd NW (map to 6500 Los Volcanes NW). To register, send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: John Zarola.
03/30/2019
Saturday
Raised Bed Gardening and Composting: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at True Value Garden Center, 2108 Southern Blvd., Rio Rancho, NM (map to 2108 Southern Blvd, Rio Rancho). We are sorry. The class is now full and we cannot take any more registrations. Please check back. We will try to schedule more of this class. Instructor: John Zarola.
04/03/2019 to
04/27/2019  

1 Wednesday
4 Saturdays
Master Composter Volunteer Training Course: at the Bernalillo County Extension Office. The dates are tentative. Master composter volunteer training is a "train-the-trainer" program which prepares individuals to become volunteer educators in a variety of composting methods for the community. Cost will be approximately $90. There are approximately 25 hours of training. When details and an application are available they will be posted at Master Composter Volunteer Training Course.
04/10/2019
Wednesday
Home Composting Basics: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Palo Duro Senior Center, 5221 Palo Duro NE, Albuquerque, NM (map to 5221 Palo Duro NE). To register call 505-888-8102 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Rhea Trotman.
04/11/2019
Thursday
Raised Bed Gardening and Composting: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at North Valley Senior Center, 3825 4th Street NW, Albuquerque (map to 3825 4th Street NW). We are sorry. The class is now full and we cannot take any more registrations. Please check back. We will try to schedule more of this class. Instructor: John Zarola.
04/13/2019
Saturday
Bucket Composting with Bokashi: 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm at Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors Blvd NW, Albuquerque (map to 6500 Coors Blvd NW). To register, call 505-897-8831 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Rye Bailey.
04/17/2019
Wednesday
Amending Desert Garden Soil: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Bear Canyon Senior Center, Room 5, 4645 Pitt NE, Albuquerque (map to 4645 Pitt NE). To register call 505-767-5959 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Rye Bailey.
04/26/2019
Friday
Composting in Tumbler Bins: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Los Volcanes Senior Center, 6500 Los Volcanes Rd NW (map to 6500 Los Volcanes NW). To register, send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: John Zarola.
05/01/2019
Wednesday
Home Composting Basics: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque, 5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Albuquerque (map to 5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE). To register call 505-332-0565 ext. 4518 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Mary Green.
05/04/2019  
Saturday
Intermediate Hands-On Composting Workshop: 9:00 am to 2:30 pm at the home of Bill and Rye Bailey in the south valley. Prerequisite: Previous attendance at Home Composting Basics or comprehensive workshop. Lunch will be provided. Cost is $20. (Free for BCEMC members and interns.) For more information about the workshop and registration see Intermediate Hands-On Composting Workshop. Instructors: Bill Bailey, Rye Bailey, Mary Green, Dair Obershain, Lee Storhaug, John Zarola, and possibly others.
05/15/2019
Wednesday
Composting With Worms: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Bear Canyon Senior Center, Room 5, 4645 Pitt NE, Albuquerque (map to 4645 Pitt NE). To register call 505-767-5959 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Mary Green.
05/16/2019
Thursday
Bucket Composting with Bokashi: Method 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at North Valley Senior Center, 3825 4th Street NW, Albuquerque (map to 3825 4th Street NW). To register call 505-761-4025 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Rye Bailey.
05/17/2019
Friday
Raised Bed Gardening and Composting: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Los Volcanes Senior Center, 6500 Los Volcanes Rd NW (map to 6500 Los Volcanes NW). We are sorry. The class is now full and we cannot take any more registrations. Please check back. We will try to schedule more of this class. Instructor: John Zarola.
05/18/2019
Saturday
Raised Bed Gardening and Composting: 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at True Value Garden Center, 2108 Southern Blvd., Rio Rancho, NM (map to 2108 Southern Blvd, Rio Rancho). We are sorry. The class is now full and we cannot take any more registrations. Please check back. We will try to schedule more of this class. Instructor: John Zarola.
05/29/2019
Wednesday
Improving Desert Garden Soil: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Palo Duro Senior Center, 5221 Palo Duro NE, Albuquerque, NM (map to 5221 Palo Duro NE). To register call 505-888-8102 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Rye Bailey.
06/12/2019
Wednesday
Bucket Composting with Bokashi Method: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Palo Duro Senior Center, 5221 Palo Duro NE, Albuquerque, NM (map to 5221 Palo Duro NE). To register call 505-888-8102 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Rod Reay.
07/10/2019
Wednesday
Home Composting Basics: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Bear Canyon Senior Center, Room 5, 4645 Pitt NE, Albuquerque (map to 4645 Pitt NE). To register call 505-767-5959 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Jana Hazelbaker.
09/07/2019
Saturday
Home Composting Basics: 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at Gutierrez-Hubbell House, 6029 Isleta Blvd. SW, Albuquerque (map to 6029 Isleta SW). To register send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: John Zarola.
09/07/2019
Saturday
Composting with Worms: 10:00 am to 11:00 am at Village Mercantile Home & Farm Store, 3675 Corrales Road Corrales, New Mexico (map to 3675 Corrales Road). To register send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Mary Green.
09/25/2019
Wednesday
Composting with Worms: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Bear Canyon Senior Center, Room 5, 4645 Pitt NE, Albuquerque (map to 4645 Pitt NE). To register call 505-767-5959 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: Mel Chavez.
11/20/2019
Wednesday
Bokashi Bucket Composting: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Bear Canyon Senior Center, Room 5, 4645 Pitt NE, Albuquerque (map to 4645 Pitt NE). To register call 505-767-5959 or send email to register@nmcomposters.org. Instructor: TBA.

Class Descriptions

Bucket Composting with Bokashi Method: Home composting is recycling that produces a useful soil conditioner. The Bokashi bucket method is a useful choice for, but not limited to, small indoor spaces, eg. apartments and condos. It is neat, tidy, and requires little physical labor. The science and methodology of this method will be presented and demonstrated so that a participant can easily get started at home. Prior to the class a useful read by Adam Footer is posted at Reading Materials.

Composting in Tumbler Bins: The class will cover the basics of home composting in the desert. The science, art, materials, methods, choices and benefits will be included. Then, particular emphasis will be on successful use of tumbling bin containers. Prior to the class, participants would benefit from reading Tips for Using Composting Tumbler Bins in the Desert.

Composting with Worms: Worm composting is recycling that produces a useful soil conditioner. The class will include the selection of an appropriate worm species and creating a healthy environment for that species. Useful take-home information will cover all aspects of setting up and managing a worm composting operation indoors or outdoors. Prior to the class you may read all of the useful information at Worm Sources.

Home Composting Basics: Home composting is recycling that produces a useful soil conditioner. Basic composting science will be presented with a special focus on useful practices for a high desert climate. A variety of home composting options will be covered. Useful take-home information will help a participant get started and / or improve an already chosen composting method. Prior to the class it may be useful to read our brochures: (1) Composting in the Desert, and (2) Selecting a Method that Works for You.

Improving Desert Garden Soil: Amending desert garden soil is a continuous effort. The class will cover the basics of soil constituents, soil testing and the benefits of the soil food web. The value of humus in finished compost will be prominent in the discussion. Options for improving soil fertility and resiliency in the face of warm temperatures and low precipitation will be presented. Useful take-home information will allow participants to plan for and implement soil amending practices right away. Prior to the class a useful read, The Soul of the Soil by Grace Gershuny, posted at Reading Materials.

Raised Bed Gardening and Composting: Raised garden beds in the high desert present many useful management options for home gardeners. Soil, amendments, mulches and irrigation methods are well-contained by raised beds. The class will will cover set-up, soil, irrigation, mulching, and sheet composting for soil fertility in a raised bed.