Composting Simplified: Black Gold for your Garden a Master Gardener Talk on March 22 at 7:30 pm

Scraps Bucket_AS_322985025Madison, NJ – March 10, 2021 – Composting at its simplest is a mix of dried leaves and food waste. It creates natural fertilizer and reduces municipal solid waste by as much as 22 percent, according to a study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. To help residents tackle climate action in their backyards, the Environmental Commissions of the Chathams, Madison and Morris Township are hosting an online talk, “Composting Simplified: Black Gold for your Garden,” with Cheri Wilczek, a Rutgers Master Gardener. The online talk will be held on March 22, 2021 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are free and can be reserved by visiting

Wilczek refers to compost as “black gold” because it is one of the best soil amendments in a gardener’s tool box. It is rich in micronutrients and easy to add to the trees, shrubs, plants and vegetables in your yard. 

In her talk, Wilczek will cover the basics of starting and building a compost bin. She’ll explain what materials to add (vegetable and fruit scraps, tea bags, cardboard), what to avoid (meat, bones, dairy), how to deal with wildlife and troubleshoot the process. Finally, she’ll discuss how to use compost in your yard as a soil amendment. 

The talk is a lead up to an April composter sale that will be spearheaded by Morris Township. All area residents will be invited to purchase Earth Machine backyard composters at wholesale prices. The Earth Machine is a passive composter that turns food scraps into nutrient-rich fertilizer in approximately six weeks. It retails for $100, and will be sold at the discounted price of $55. Rain barrels and Earth Machine accessories such as an aerator will also be available.

For questions about purchasing a composter, write to For information on the Rutgers Master Gardeners Speakers Bureau, visit