Category Archives: Learn & Share Program

Garbage Into Gold: How to Compost Your Food and Yard Waste


On Monday, February 13th 2017 Susan Obry, a Master Composter, presented a workshop called “Garbage Into Gold: How to Compost Your Food and Yard Waste” at the Racine Public Library. This workshop was one in a series by Green Racine Learn and Share Programs, in cooperation with Greening Greater Racine.
After retiring from being a nurse and nurse educator, Susan Obry became a Master Gardener. She then decided to become a Master Composter. At this workshop she discussed how to compost, covering all the basics for those looking to start composting, as well as troubleshooting tips for those who have already started. She also gave out handouts and brochures to take home with helpful information on composting.
First she explained what compost is; organic material that has been decomposed into rich soil amendment. Composting is beneficial because it cuts down on garbage waste and once the compost is finished it can be used to improve the soil in your yard and around your plants. She then explained the process of making compost, including what types of materials to put in and not to put in a compost pile and how to have a balanced ratio of 3:1 Carbon-rich “Browns” to Nitrogen-rich “Greens”. “Browns” include materials such as cardboard, nuts, paper, and wood chips. “Greens” include materials such as coffee grounds, yard plants, grass clippings, fruits, and vegetables. She discussed different ways to compost, such as hot vs. cold piles, using a bin vs. just leaving it as a pile, composting in your kitchen, in the winter, and vermicomposting. She also went over how to tell when the compost is finished and how to use it properly.
This workshop demonstrated the benefits of composting and provided useful information and resources on how to compost at home.  Thank you Susan!


Past Learn & Share Events

September 12, 2016
The Old-Fashion Fun of Canning Fruits and Vegetables. 
Home canning has been around since the Civil War. The Victory Gardens of the First and Second World Wars made it a common practice. In more recent times, easy access to cheap food has resulted in a sharp decline in the practice of canning food. In this class we will discuss how easy and safe it is to “put food by”.

Jessica True and Colleen Patterson. They are permaculture teachers, organic gardeners and local food advocatesOctober 10, 2016
An Eco-friendly Diet: Good for you, Good for Earth.
It’s about quality of life! How do we eat better and have a positive influence on the environment at the same time? The key to do so is not another quick fix diet or supplement. It’s a shift in how we think and what we eat. Learn how you can take simple steps to change the way you think while grocery shopping or when eating out. This workshop will show you how to get started with a better quality of life, even how you can grow your own green leafed veggies indoors during the winter time and on tower gardens in summer.

Birgitte Christensen, Holistic Practitioner, Happy Healthy Way. For more than 10 years Birgitte has helped people, all over the world, make a long-lasting change toward a better lifestyle.

November 14, 2016
Greening Your Whole House: Attic to Basement.
The program will present a comprehensive model for making your home earth-friendly. It will suggest specific and inexpensive products and practices—in areas such as energy, water, waste, food, yard, and more. The session will invite participants to share their experiences. A checklist will help participants identify new commitments. November 14, 2016.

David Rhoads, Greening Greater Racine. David has been an environmental activist for three decades working mainly with greening churches, educational institutions, and homes.


January 9, 2017
Lower Your Energy Bill—By Half.
Come learn practical steps you can take to reduce your utility costs and household environmental impact by more than half (compared to national averages). Make the most of your efforts and investments by targeting items with the greatest savings and fastest payback.  Understand how your home carbon footprint relates to global emissions levels and reduction targets.Casey McIntosh is an engineer and founder of—a volunteer organization committed to helping households realize a future of energy independence and sustainability.

February 13, 2017
Garbage into Gold: How to Compost Your Food and Yard Waste.
We will discuss both basic and advanced composting techniques, uses, and tools that will help you turn your yard trimmings and household waste into soil amendment “gold.” Learn to make your composting efforts efficient and effective. The program includes a variety of handouts and involves audience participation. Read More: Garbage to Gold Composting

Susan Obry, Master Composter. A retired nurse and nurse educator. Susan is a Master Composter and a Master Gardener Volunteer with a special interest in herbs. She has presented many programs including at the Olbricht Botanical Gardens.

March 13, 2017
How, When, and Where to Plant a Tree.
Healthy trees provide numerous benefits – learn how ensure good tree health while promoting maximum growth. The program will discuss tree species selection, proper planting, correct watering and basic tree pruning.

Matthew Koepnick, Urban Forester. Matt has been working in the fields of urban forestry and arboriculture for close to 20 years. He is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist & Municipal Specialist and is the City Forester for Racine.

April 10, 2017
Get an Eco-Green Yard—and Keep Our Waters Clean.
Our workshop will focus on actions you can take on your own property to help protect our precious waters. Find out why Sparkles the Water Spaniel is always reminding us, “Clean water is a matter of proper training!” You’ll glean new information about storm water runoff pollution, spring and summer yard care, soil testing, lawn alternatives, composting, permeable surfaces, and rain barrels with a special focus on creating rain gardens.

Allison Thielen, Root Pike Watershed Initiative Network. Allison has four years of experience teaching interactive workshops for environmental organizations in Racine County on native plant and freshwater resources.

May 8, 2017
How to Grow and Cook Your Own Organic Food.
You will learn about simple techniques to grow spring vegetables including potatoes, greens, radishes, broccoli, and beets.  Participants will be able to sample prepared dishes and take home recipes.

Sister Rejane Cytacki, Director, Racine Eco-Justice Center. Rejane has been an educator and gardener for over 10 years. She has a passion for environmental education and cooking.

June 12, 2017
Good Plants, Bad Plants: How to Know Which is Which and Why It Matters.
In this presentation, you will learn what is meant by the term “invasive,” what are some of the ways invasives have traveled here, what problems they cause, which ones are the worst offenders in our area, and what we can do about them.

Melissa Warner, Weed Out! Racine.  A retired high school science teacher, Melissa was Named Wisconsin’s Invader Crusader in 2013 for her efforts managing invasive plant species in public parks and native spaces.

Learn & Share Program

Greening Greater Racine began a Learn and Share program series on the second Monday of every month at 6PM at the Racine Public Library.

The series is intended to provide a free and useful educational program to the public to improve environmental and sustainable efforts among the community’s daily lives.


Click DOWNLOAD FULL for the program details shown below. 
Click DOWNLOAD SHORT button for a short poster of the program series.