Episode 43: Reingard Rieger


by Rodney Wilson

Master Composter Reingard Rieger, Ph.D., breaks down composting, urban gardening and Seattle Public Utilities’ Master Composter Sustainability Program managed by Tilth Alliance in this episode of Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good. 

Learn about Seattle Public Utilities’ Master Composter Sustainability Program (managed by Tilth Alliance), which trains 30 to 35 volunteers each year to go into the community and educate others about composting, soil health, recycling, stormwater management and more. From mandatory food-waste composting to mandatory recycling, Seattle’s sustainability programs have had a big payoff: From 2004-2019, the tonnage of compostable material going to the landfill was reduced by 40 percent, even while the city’s population grew by 30 percent. 

Get Reingard’s professional advice to start or improve your own composting or, as she says, “farming the microbes.” Hear about vermiculture (worm composting) basics, worms’ preferred vegan diet and the science behind how we get worm castings. And learn about food-digester worm bins, which are easy to build and use in your own garden.

Reingard shares her experience in building a 10,000-square-foot backyard garden and a front-yard rain garden in Seattle and talks about her family’s farming background in Austria, too. 

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