Got Compost? We’ve Got Classes

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Over the next two weekends, folks from small farms, community gardens, parks, schools and some businesses can dig deeper into composting — and improve the world and stay ahead of the law — through a series of free workshops and field trips.

The first two workshops are scheduled to be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the San Diego County Farm Bureau’s Escondido offices. The morning session will discuss composting basics; the afternoon session will talk about state and local land use regulations.

A third workshop, featuring a hands-on compost build, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Terra Madre Gardens in Escondido. On Saturday, June 18, five separate field trips are scheduled at various times and locations around the county to give people guided, behind-the-scenes tours of working composting operations.

The events are free, but require registration and $10 to $20 refundable deposits to reserve space. Deposits will be returned at the events. There will be no refunds for canceled reservations, or after the individual events.

The events are being put on by the Solana Center, Farm Bureau and the County Department of Public Works’ Recycling Division to help businesses affected by a new state law. Assembly Bill 1826 took effect April 1. The law aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, and it targets businesses that generate eight cubic yards a week — roughly eight small truckloads — of organic waste like leaves, grass, fruit, vegetable and food remains. Those businesses will now have to keep that waste out of landfills by composting it themselves, or paying to have it done.

San Diego County is ripe for composting education. It has more than 6,500 small farms (under 10 acres in size) — more than any other county in the U.S. — and a growing number of community gardens.

Composting advocates, meanwhile, say composting does more than keep organic waste out of landfills where it can create harmful methane.

Organic compost can re-inject helpful nutrients into the soil, cut water use, improve crop production and save growers money by not having to buy soil amendments.

The full series of workshops and field trips include:


Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact