Natasha Duarte

Natasha Duarte

Natasha Duarte

Workshop Instructor | Composting Association of Vermont

Natasha Duarte is the Director of the Composting Association of Vermont (CAV). She represents CAV in policy initiatives, develops and leads outreach and education initiatives, and promotes the production and use of compost as vital to soil health through practices that contribute to water quality, plant vigor, and environmental resilience. Community scale composting was the cornerstone of Natasha’s Peace Corps work in Senegal, West Africa, where she helped farmers reclaim land from termite mounds and turn the poorest areas of their fields into the most productive. She is currently contributing to a USDA Rural Utilities Services funded project – “Implementing Rural Community Composting in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.” She has been a backyard composter for over 20 years and has helped family members and friends begin composting. She has an M.S. in Soil Science from N.C. State University and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Vermont.

Workshop Time: Tuesday, January 28, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Workshop Title: Community Food Scrap Composting—Path To Success

Workshop Description: This in-depth and interactive training for community food scrap composters is designed for small-scale operators and local government interested in supporting their efforts. The technical aspects of community composting to be covered include: 1) Siting and planning small scale operations—locations include community gardens, schools, businesses, churches, food pantries, farms, recreational areas, housing developments; 2) “System Support”—compost team/staff recruitment, retention, duties, and training; communication (team, site, signage); identifying community or neighborhood resources, strengths, opportunities, and challenges; building community support and good neighbor practices; and fundraising; 3) Community Scale Compost Systems—from windrows to tumblers to worm bins; 4) Sizing operations to stay within state regulations and how this translates into site and system needs, capacity, volunteer/staff duties; 5) Sourcing the right materials; and 6) Ensuring success: BMPs – from site inspection to process management. Community composting specifics for urban and rural/small town will be integrated into the discussion.