South Coastal Library to offer composting workshop

Master Gardener to share tips on home composting

Now that spring is finally in the air, many people are flocking outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather and get their hands dirty in their gardens. In anticipation of the season, the South Coastal Library is offering a composting workshop on Tuesday, May 20, from 2 to 3 p.m.

“We’ve had Master Gardeners come in and talk before about different aspects of gardening, like planting, drought-resistant plants, how to put your gardens to bed in the winter,” explained Library Director Sue Keefe. “This seemed like the next natural thing. Composting is a good way to feed the plants, and it also preserves water a bit, which down here is a legitimate concern.”

“I was hoping this would be a good fit for the time of year, also,” added Assistant Director Barbara Litzau, who plans the adult programs at the library. “People are getting more veggies from their garden, and you have some of the parts of the vegetables that you don’t use.”

For Tuesday’s workshop, Master Gardener Carol Kinsley will explain how to compile compost, which is decomposed organic matter, such as food waste and leaves, to be used to enrich a garden’s soil.

Kinsley is a graduate of the Master Gardener’s Class of 2011 and a member of the Spade & Trowel Garden Club of Seaford. She is a journalist and has worked for American Farm publications, such as the Delmarva Farmer, for 34 years. She is editor of the Mid-Atlantic Grower for commercial horticulture and, through her small business, Kinsley Communications, writes for a number of other publications.

At the presentation, Kingsley will speak about how anyone can compost at home and will take questions.

“She’ll have a presentation and is also going to bring some materials. She said it can get a little messy,” said Litzau with a laugh. “She’ll give the steps of what goes into composting and will give a live demonstration, as well as a PowerPoint.”

The Master Gardener Program is run under the University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension, to train volunteers to help Delaware home gardeners learn more about propagating, planting, pruning and composting, among other skills. To become a Master Gardener, applicants must complete an intensive training program and contribute 45 hours of volunteer service.

“The people who come and do our Master Gardener workshops, usually we have very good turnouts for them,” said Litzau, adding that the programs can have anywhere from 20 to 40 attendees on average. “With the Master Gardeners, we really do get a good turnout.”

Litzau said she works with Lisa Arni, local Master Gardener and founder of Gardeners by the Sea to create the workshops and find Master Gardeners to give the presentations.

“I tell her the idea I’ve come up with, to see if someone from the Master Gardeners would do such a program, and then she contacts that person. I called up and said, ‘Well, I’m thinking about this,’” Litzau said. “She helps me find a fit of what I think might be a good idea.”

Litzau said that the library has numerous books on gardening and that the Delaware Library’s catalogue also has nooks pertaining to composting.

Keefe said she hopes the workshop will be well attended and help everyone get into the gardening spirit.

“We hope people get something out of it. We’re always glad when we put something out there that people can learn something and actually use it. That’s like gold for us.”

Admission is free, and registration is not required. For more information, call (302) 539-5231 or visit The South Coastal Library is located at 43 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach.