Sustainable Saratoga composting event posters


The Backyard Compost Committee has experienced as much variety in our workshops as we have seen in the broader world of composting. In that arena, no two people compost in the same way. Likewise, in our 5 years of teaching people to compost, no two workshops have been the same. Here’s a breakdown of our 2022 compost workshops.

Students zoom in on compost

This held true in 2022 to an even greater degree than other years. We came out of the pandemic years 2020 and 2021 – when we taught few or no workshops – and welcomed invitations to teach to new audiences. A teacher in the BOCES Culinary Arts Department had set up a school compost system and wanted his students to learn about the process. Their neighbors in the Horticulture Department were interested and joined the audience. We were impressed with the motivation, curiosity, and enthusiasm of these high school students. Another invitation to work with 50 children ages 5 through 9 at the Saratoga Independent School summer camp required a team effort. We gathered seven teachers – both experienced and new – to serve at a number of interactive centers. Children looked for worms and other critters in soil, using magnifying glasses; prepared a fruit snack that produced food scraps to compost; and drew their own imaginary microbes. This was another chance for us to be awed by the energy and excitement of a different age group.

Students examine compost up close

Students use magnifying glasses to study the components of compost


Composting workshops for beginners and expert gardeners

During the year we also taught several of our standard workshops: a basic introduction to composting; an interactive version of the basics designed for families with children; and one for serious gardeners introducing new techniques and ideas to increase their supply of finished compost.

We’ve come a long way

Back in 2017, our first year of teaching, we taught one workshop with 11 people in the audience. Attendance has grown steadily since then, with a total of seven workshops,180 people participating in 2022.

Sharing the magic of compost

Our current groups of students come to the workshops with a good understanding of the benefits of composting. Some are motivated by the idea that they can have a positive impact on climate change. They have learned that food scraps in a landfill produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and that compost does not. Others want to use the resulting compost in their own gardens. Whatever the motivation, we are happy to welcome all comers! We are excited to see the growing interest in an activity that is not only beneficial to our earth, but is endlessly interesting – you might even say magical.


We look forward to 2023 and a new variety of compost topics. Bokashi, anyone?

Follow us on social media or sign up for our monthly newsletter (links below) and look out for announcements of 2023 workshops

See our Composting Resources for more info on how you can create your own Black Gold

Have composting questions? Email us