This year, the Food Program is paying a bit of extra attention to bacteria, and the important roles they play in our food systems, from the garden to the table. This month, we’re excited to be welcoming Alysha Punnett, Site Manager & Community Education Coordinator at Victoria’s Compost Education Centre. The Centre offers workshops for adults and children, and also is the site of teaching garden that is definitely worth a visit. They also sell some great composting supplies.
Exploring her passion for sustainable living strategies led Alysha from the Okanagan to the Island to complete a BSc. in Environmental Management through Royal Roads University, a certificate in Permaculture Design through Seven Ravens Permaculture Academy, and a certificate in Organic Master Gardening through Gaia College. As well as maintaining the Compost Education Centre’s gardens, Alysha teaches regularly about composting, permaculture and organic gardening.
Alysha will be leading 3 workshops on soil health and composting. (I’ve borrowed the title of this article from the name of the first one.)
Soil: Really Important Tiny Lives explores the importance of a thriving soil ecosystem in the context of our gardens as well as from the broader global perspective. Everything that microorganisms in the soil do for us will be revealed as well as how to steward the soil so they survive. While this workshop is primarily theory-based, it is essential knowledge for anyone who is interested in growing food, mitigating climate change and working to conserve this key resource.
Composting Basics is an informative session on what a backyard food grower needs to know to ensure your composting system is working, or gain tools to begin composting: to create a nutrient dense organic amendment for your garden, and limit energetic burdens on the waste stream.
Advanced Composting aims to broaden the scope of participants’ knowledge of composting methods. Topics covered include dynamic accumulators and hot composting, compost tea, in-situ composting methods and humanure. This workshop includes a live demo of a DIY compost tea brewer that we use at the Centre.