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Compost Learning Lab

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What is the Compost Learning Lab?

The NC State Compost Learning Lab (CL2) is an education and demonstration site at the Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory that the Extension Master Gardener volunteers of Wake County maintain. The site has several demonstration gardens, teaching areas, and a 40ft by 30ft Worm barn which contains several types of worm bins (we have live worms too!)

Current Projects

  • Compost Bins demo site: In front of the worm barn, we have a display of most types of commercially available compost bins. These vary from standing to rotating bins.
  • Pavilion: Next to the compost bin demo site we have a pavilion with seating to teach hands-on classes.
  • Rain Garden: To the left of the Pavilion we have a flourishing rain garden that captures run-off from the roof of the Pavillion.
  • Static Aerated Garden: We have an example plot of a static aerated garden (not currently used). This type of composting is where oxygen is pumped into the soil via an air pump, and is typically used for manure.
  • Test Garden: Behind the worm barn there is a small vegetable garden test plot where each plot has a different percentage of compost added to the soil. We had a great harvest in Fall 2023!

Lab Tours

We host educational tours and classes at the CL2, so consider stopping by!

If you want to visit:

  • You must make an appointment. Email the Horticulture Agent, Deanna Bigio at to arrange a visit
  • Only adults 18 or older are allowed at the site
  • Smoking is prohibited
  • No pets are allowed
  • No toilets or garbage service on site
  • Recommend wearing closed-toe shoes