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Meet the Composters

Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters

Below are pictures and information about a few of the many people who are practicing the art and science of composting in Albuquerque and nearby communities.

If you'd like to be included on this page, please submit one or two photographs of yourself with your compost/your worm bin/your garden as well as a little information about yourself and your composting experience. Send to webmaster@nmcomposters.org. Please specify whether you'd like us to use your full name or only your first name. We welcome all submissions, including and especially from beginning composters. You don't have to be a master composter to share your experience here.


Image of Carissa Nichols teaching about compost
Carissa Nichols teaching a basic composting class
Carissa Nichols became a Master Composter in 2010. She says: Compostaphilically speaking, I am a spoiled-rotten 2010 Master Composter with a flair for decaying matter. My favorite composting method is "compost pocketing". This is what John Zarola calls the "dump-and-run" method but I prefer to not use that term because it frightens me; it sounds like "hit-and-run" and conjures up visualizations of some creepy dude dumping-off a sofa in an alleyway or an unexpected "brown doggie surprise" on a hiking trail. See? "Compost Pocketing" basically DOES means dump-and-run, though. (Argh!!!) That's right, you just bury all that goodness - you might even get a volunteer garden if you include uncooked seeds/roots! As a BCEMC, I especially enjoy teaching kids, tabling events, and generally trying to avoid spontaneous pile-combustion. (But it would be kinda cool to see that happen in a controlled environment - just once.)

Image of Donna's bin system made from pallets
Donna's bin system made from pallets
Image of Donna Detweiler's free-form compost pile, with rugs to preserve moisture
Donna Detweiler's free-form compost pile, with rugs to preserve moisture
Donna Detweiler became a Master Composter in 2010. Donna says, My [unenclosed, free-form] pile composts, but slowly and is a good example of "easy but not the most effective." She adds, My son and I built a 3-bin affair out of pallets, which I like a lot better.

Image of John Zarola's compost pile
John Zarola at Open Space Visitor Center

John Zarola organized the May 2010 master composter training which led to the formation of the Association. He is BCEMC outreach coordinator and was the first president of the BCEMC association. Here he is shown working with the compost he tends at the Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center on Coors Blvd.


Image of Judy Espinoza's compost cage
Judy Espinoza's compost cage
Judy Espinoza became a Master Composter in 2010. She is on the BCEMC board of directors and is the education coordinator.

Image of Omar Sedek at Corrales Composting Facility bin
Omar at his compost bin. That's steam!
Omar Sadek became a Master Composter in 2011. Also in 2011, he initiated and was a driving force behind the collaboration between a team of Intel employees and several community members from the Village of Corrales to build a small scale composting facility. The facility, at the Corrales Recreation Center, was completed in November 2011. For more photos, see Omar's Second Harvest Composting Company Facebook page. Also see Omar's Compost Mix Calculator.

Image of Tom Nichols with his sheet composting pile
Tom Nichols with his sheet composting pile
Tom Nichols became a Master Composter in 2010 where he rekindled his childhood love for playing in the dirt. Tom has integrated a number of different composting methods within his yard to include Hot, Sheet, and (his personal favorite) Vermicomposting. He says, Becoming a Master Composter was a turning point for me ... a mental block against composting was removed and then given to composting worms to finish-off.

Image of Wynette Richards' compost pile
Wynette's easy compost pile
Image of Wynette Richards in her garden
Wynette Richards in her garden
Wynette Richards has been composting in her backyard since the mid-1980s and became a Master Composter in 2010. She says: I've never intentionally done a hot compost but have had great success with throwing my compost in a pile in the corner of the backyard and stirring and watering it occasionally. She became a Master Composter in 2010. She is the organization's web master.