Chicago Master Composter A blog for Chicago Master Composters providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources Sun, 15 May 2005 13:02:08 -0500 2010 Master Composter Graduation Mon, 25 Oct 2010 14:26:00 +0000 The 2010 MG Honors Night and MC Graduation will be held:

Tuesday October 26, 2010

Garfield Park Conservatory's Community Room.

300 N. Central Park Ave. in Chicago.

MGs will be awarded pins for years of service and number of volunteer hours for the calendar year 2009. For this special occasion, Extension will purchase fried chicken and meatless mostaccioli; beverages will also be supplied. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share based on the first letter of their last name:

A-G appetizers

H-O side dish or salad

P-Z dessert item

The potluck dinner will run from 6:15-7pm followed by the MC graduation and presentation of MG awards. Please come out to celebrate these achievements!! MGs are also asked to bring pictures of the gardening projects they worked on in 2010 to share with the group and to be placed in the Honors Night binder as a record of our hard work.

You deserve to be honored,

U of I Extension Hort Staff

Become a Master Composter! Mon, 23 Aug 2010 23:43:00 +0000

Chicago Master Composter Program - Learn to Teach Composting

Become a Certified Master Composter

Training Workshops - October 2, 9, and 16, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Learn the art and science of urban composting and techniques for teaching others. This hands-on intensive 15 hour training program held at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N Central Park Ave., includes basics of indoor worm composting and outdoor composting, science of composting and educational methods practice. Each participant will receive a worm composting bin to use at home. Master Composter training hours can be used to satisfy general Master Gardener education requirements.

15 volunteer hours of community outreach from October 2010 through September 2011 will be required for participation in the Master Composter program. Hours can be completed at various compost education centers, school worm composting programs or through individual outreach projects. Master Composter outreach hours satisfy general Master Gardener service requirements.

The cost for participating in the program is $100.00. For more information, contact Nancy Kreith at or 773-233-0476

Apply at:

Reminder: Master Composter - GPC Series Training Tomorrow Fri, 09 Apr 2010 14:11:00 +0000 Hello MCs,
Please be reminded that we will be meeting tomorrow at Garfield Park Conservatory--300 N. Central Park. Please report to the Jensen Room by 1:00 p.m. Your GPC contact is Robin Cline. Robin would like me to pass along your contact info to her. Please let me know tomorrow if it is OK to release your contact info to her.

Peter G., Sue F., Steve N., SEN, Gail N., Art K., Nicole D., and Kim C.

Jackie and other MCs,
Please join us tomorrow, if you can.

We will:
- run through a typical volunteer's day
- meet GPC staff
- go over some procedures
- receive a compost tea demo from SEN, fellow classmate.
OPTIONAL: Stay from 3-5 p.m. to help break down dilapidated bins

See you tomorrow,


Special Thanks go out to Master Composters of Chicago Mon, 15 Mar 2010 17:31:00 +0000 I had to take some time and thank the individuals who helped us with the Navy Pier Flower and Garden Show over the past week. These Master Composters were instrumental in making this past week successful. Special thanks to Master Composters: Jane Tiffen, Linda Anderson, Jim Lewis, Jackie Paine, Janna Riley, Stephen Bell, Deby Kennedy, Gloria Needlman, Sean O'Farrell, Julie Perteet and Paula Jones. It was a long and busy week, but I hope each and every one of you was able to sit back and enjoy what we accomplished. Thank you for sharing your time and knowledge.

I will post pictures next week.

Thank you!


Nancy Kreith

Composters Needed for Flower and Garden Show! Fri, 26 Feb 2010 17:27:00 +0000 Hello Master Composters,

Spring is in the air! We could use a few more volunteers for the Chicago Flower and Garden Show - Kid's Area. Unfortunately, they cannot supply us with free parking, but they have discounted it to $14 per car. I am willing to carpool from the Ag. School if that helps anyone or I would advise for you to take public transportation. Admission is free on your volunteer day and you will receive 1 free pass to come back to the show. We will provide snacks and water for the day. Please consider volunteering for the following:

What: Worm Composting - Kid's Activity Area

When: Monday, March 8th through Friday, March 12th from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Navy Pier - 600 E. Grand

Please contact Nancy Kreith at or 733-233-0476 if you would like to volunteer or if you would like more information about the event.

Hapy Friday!


Come Enjoy the Sight at Worm Night! Sign Up Now! Thu, 04 Feb 2010 17:28:00 +0000 University of Illinois Extension in partnership with Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS) would like to invite you to a fun night of exploring the world of worms.

What: Worm Composting - Understand why your grandmother insisted on putting her eggshells and used coffee grounds right into her vegetable garden. Learn the history, anatomy, eco-function and diet of the red-wiggler worm and some of our own backyard night-crawlers. Learn how to set up an environment, feed and raise your own compost worms indoors and how to troubleshoot common issues.

When: Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Time: Sessions start at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Where: U of I Extension at CHSAS – 3807 W. 111th Street (Please use east entrance, off of 111th and Hamlin)

Cost: $5 per family/person

Note: A minimum of 10 participants per session is required to move forth with the program. A worm bin ($35 value) will be raffled off during each session.

Contact: Please contact U of I Extension at 773-233-0476 to register for the program.

Announcing the 2010 Master Composter Series at GPC! Wed, 27 Jan 2010 10:04:00 +0000 Hello Master Composters,

I am happy to announce the 2010 Master Composting Series at GPC. We would like to schedule two MCs for each of these drop-in demos. We will need about 4-6 MCs for the special event days in April and Sept. Special event days will have an a.m. and p.m. shift. Please email/call me if you would like to sign up. or 773-233-0476. GPC will host a private training day for MCs on April 10. On this day we will walk you through a mock-up demo so you are ready for the public.

MC - Composting Demos at GPC Training Day: April 10, 2010 - 1 - 3 p.m.

2010 Garfield Park Conservatory (GPC)
University of Illinois Extension Master Composting Series

What: A drop-in demonstration time when visitors can ask Master Composters questions about composting in the city, as well as participate in hands-on demonstrations. Each monthly session focuses on a different aspect of composting, though basic questions about composting can be answered at any time.

When: One Saturday per month

Time: Drop in anytime between 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Where: In the Composting Area of the Garfield Park Conservatory's Outdoor Demonstration Garden - 300 N. Central Park Ave, Chicago 60624
Provided by: University of Illinois Extension Cook County/Chicago Master Composters
More Information: If you have questions about this series, please call 1-773-638-1766 ext 18

2010 Demonstration Schedule:
April 24 – Basics of Composting – Green and Growing Fair*
Learn how to start and maintain a basic compost bin. Different compost bin types will be on display and each one will be explained. Live demos will be conducted throughout the day of the Fair. Plus, visitors will receive a free compost education booklet to take home.

May 15 – Setting up a Compost Bin from Start to Finish
Do you know exactly what should be going into a compost pile? Learn how to balance the key ingredients in composting: greens, brown, air and water. Hear the tricks of the trade from experienced Master Composters.

June 26 – Building up that Heat in a Compost Bin
Learn how to activate a compost pile and build up some heat! Master Composters will explain which materials will help you to raise a hot composting pile.

July 24 – Harvesting and Using Your Compost

Now is the time to start harvesting that finished compost from spring. Learn how to use your compost as mulch and potting mix. Compost sifting will be demonstrated.
Note: Stay for Beekeeping Demos happening this day too!

August 21 – Brew a Batch of Compost Tea
Join us in the shade for a spot of tea. Compost tea works wonders on your plants and applying it is a cinch. The process of brewing the tea is slightly more complex, but expert Master Composters will get you headed in the right direction.

September 18 – Basics of Composting – County Fair*
Learn passive composting systems, such as, sheet mulching, leaf composting and leaving cut grass behind. Compost bin demos will happen throughout the duration of the Fair.

October 16 – Winter Preparation of Compost Bins
Decomposition slows down in the winter. Learn how to prepare your bin for the winter and harvest your remaining compost for use in the fall.

*Special Event - On-going demonstrations will last 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.