Adult Education Workshops

Backyard & Vermicomposting Workshop  |  Rainbarrel Workshops  |  Feeding the Earth  |  Healthy Body  

Controlling Invasive Plants

Learn why composting is one of the most hopeful frontiers in our world, and ways that each of us can help move it in the right directions.


Over the past two decades, backyard composting has become increasingly popular among households in many countries, and growing numbers of institutional food-waste generators (restaurants, cafeterias, supermarkets) have begun to divert their organic waste to composting facilities. In this slide-show-based lecture, Nick Shorr argues that these twin movements may offer a shift in our relations to Nature that is of historic proportions.

We begin with a brief review of the basic biology and ecology of compost; and its remarkable benefits. We then step back to learn how we dealt with waste over the past few millennia, ending around 1850, by which time the best farming on every continent was built on careful recycling of organic matter from many sources. We then note the circumstances that led farmers away from these fundamental insights; and the past and ongoing costs of this disconnection.



We end by turning to the present and its possibilities for the future, with a focus on Southwest Pennsylvania. We consider some recent developments that compete for organic waste, and strategies that would maximize the environmental and social benefits of this resource frontier.

Each workshop is full of wonderful images, interesting and important facts and ideas, and ends with ample time for discussion.

Nick Shorr is Program Manager of Regional Composting Initiatives at PRC. He has a PhD in Agricultural Anthropology from Indiana University; did fieldwork in Amazonia; has managed farmers’ markets; assisted community gardens; worked on composting facilities; and worked on farms in five US states. He has taught the history and ecology of global agriculture at seven universities.


PRC West ‘Feeding the Earth’ Workshops.

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Cost: $10 per person/$15 per couple

For more information, email Nick Shorr
or call him at: (412) 488-7490 ext. 232.




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