Compost Education Centre
Our Impact Why We Exist
The Compost Education Centre's Grow a Row program is in it's 6th year! Grow a Row is a community of gardeners, businesses, groups and individuals who have pledged to grow an extra row of fresh produce to be donated to those in need. As one of the recipients of the donated produce, Our Place Society has been able to increase their nutritional compliance from 84% to 98% and have reduced their food budget by 20%. They are also able to now offer 75 vegetarian meal options for both lunch and dinner to the many patrons who frequent the transition center daily. Along with the fresh produce donated, we have witnessed first-hand the added benefit of increased awareness around the cycle of homelessness and poverty at a time when more and more people are faced with uncertainty. The ongoing relationship between The Compost Education Centre and Our Place Society is a testament to a healthy, compassionate community sharing the bounty to those in need, while promoting community food security networks.
Our Story What We Do
The Compost Education Centre (CEC) provides composting and conservation education to Capital Regional District (CRD) residents with the goal of reducing waste and improving local soils through the use of compost. The CEC also advocates for local, organic gardening and farming as a means of reducing the negative effects of chemical practices, and to promote the health, environmental and social benefits of local food production. Our Centre offers a wide range of environmentally-focused and interactive programs, interactive site tours and workshops for children, youth and adults, including free community workshops on composting basics, soil science and rainwater harvesting.
Our Programs How We Do It
Grow A Row: The Grow A Row program encourages community members to grow an extra row of food that can be donated to those in need. Free workshops, seeds and veggie plant starts are provided to help participants to successfully grow their own food and share with others. In 2013, 1.63 tonnes of food were donated through the Grow a Row Program, providing healthy local produce to Our Place, YMCA/ YWCA Youth Housing Initiative & Young Moms program, Burnside Gorge Community Association, S.A.F.F.E. Dinner Group @ Vic West Community Centre, and the Sooke Food Bank.
Schools Program: We teach a variety of schools programs for grades pre-K to 12 at very accessible rates, each designed to meet the Prescribed Learning Objectives and match the Province of BC's curriculum. Current school workshops include Wrigglers at Work - in-classroom composting; Soil Sleuths - highlighting the importance of soil in our food systems; and Interactive Garden Tour - an opportunity for visiting school children to touch, small and even taste a variety of plants.
What You Can Do
It takes a village to operate the Compost Education Centre! It is your goodwill & financial support that helps to produce the programs & services that make such a difference in our community. Here are some ways you can share your talents & enthusiasm:
- Donate to support our programs
- Volunteer to be a Compost Educator and help us spread the good word about compost and soil conservation at community events
- Become a Member of the Compost Club
- Serve on our Board of Directors
The Compost Education Centre is always grateful for your contributions and welcomes any questions and comments.