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Composting SPOTLIGHT!

Posted on August 25, 2016 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (1)


SPOTLIGHT!

Community-based composting has become a nationwide initiative that has taken storm in so many communities across the United States. Some cities and states are so far ahead in their levels of consciousness regarding composting that they make other cities and states look like there’s hardly any composting going on. From cities like Seattle and Washington D.C., composting is as normal as breathing air. Not true in other cities but the movement is on the rise nonetheless. Cities like Tallahassee have been promoting back yard composting for many years but composting as a small business and getting restaurants and other businesses involved has been another issue. Promoting backyard composting is easy to do because it places the responsibility on the residents without cities or counties having to intervene. Although backyard composting is a most wonderful idea, the amount of food waste diverted from the landfill is very minimal unless there are thousands of residents composting within a municipality. The idea of commercial composting is discussed among government administrations but not too much action is taken in regards to this level of composting. Compost Community assists in filling that void. Local business owners of the restaurants Cypress and Vertigo have joined in as crusaders against waste and have adopted the vision to do the right thing regarding its kitchen waste. David and Elizabeth Gwynn have become awesome partners in the campaign against unnecessary waste generation when it can be recycled with a small business where the finished product can be used to grow more local food that restaurants purchase. This creates a closed loop cycle.


David was skeptical in the beginning because restaurant owners in Tallahassee haven’t really been introduced to composting as a major part of their business model. Traditional recycling of cardboard and bottles is a behavior that is second nature to most people so adding fresh fruit and veggie scraps to the list of things to separate and save for pick-up is brand new for most restaurant owners. Some owners have composted in the past but when you have someone picking up for their farm animals or home gardens, it can become a burden on the restaurant when the pick-ups aren’t consistent or when the pick-ups suddenly stop. This we want to definitely avoid if we’re going to convince business owners that composting is a good thing for their restaurant. Waste Management doesn’t miss a day of pick-up unless there’s some natural phenomenon to halt the pick-up. The same attitude and work ethic must be present for compost pick up, especially for compost pick up because of the rotting factor. Bottles and cardboard don’t rot and smell. Reliability is crucial if businesses are to get on board and to remain consistent in their composting efforts. Knowing that composting is the right thing to do helps but only if it makes sense for them.



 

 

We praise David and Elizabeth for having the vision and commitment to compost and for seeing the value in such a necessary component to the sustainability of our society and world. We encourage more restaurants to seek how to make composting an essential part of their business model. We also encourage customers to seek out restaurants that compost and practice sustainable methods and to support them. At times, costs can increase when adopting sustainable methods; therefore patrons should seek these businesses out and ensure that extra support to keep them relevant. It doesn’t hurt for patrons to apply a little pressure to other businesses that aren’t composting to at least plant that seed and to inform them that composting is on the minds of the people.

We still have a long way to go to get the majority of residents and business owners to begin composting but strides are being made and the people of Tallahassee are becoming more and more conscious of the essentiality of sustainable practices and holding businesses accountable is a part of that. Compost is essential to our very nature as human beings. Nature creates it for us in the natural order of leaf decomposition over a number of years but we have learned through our ancestors that we can create and speed the process up in order to restore our damaged soils. Composting is the ONLY way that we’re going to be able to heal our impaired soils and continue to feed the people good nutrient dense food.

Honors to those who play a part in the composting process.  Ase'

 

Sundiata Ameh-El

Sundiata is owner of Compost Community and works with restaurant owners and residents to curb their food waste and direct it to local community gardens for the growing of good local food.  

 

 

Why aren't you COMPOSTING?!?

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 2:55 AM Comments comments (1)


I can't stand it......Too many people aren't composting and it gets to me.  I guess that what happens when you ascend in love with something greater than yourself.  You wish everyone else would love it just as much as you do, but reality is the greatest measure of what IS.  So why am I up in arms about the LACK of composting taking place in certain neighborhoods, cities and states?  It's because when something makes sense, it just makes sense.


I traveled to the great state of Georgia a few weeks ago and while at my aunt's home, I asked myself, "what am I going to do with these banana peels and canteloupe rinds?"  My aunt isn't backyard composting and neither is the city where she resides.  Well, only one thought came to mind, bag it all up and travel with it back down to Florida and throw it on top of one of many compost piles I deal with on a weekly basis.  Or just feed it to my red wiggler worms.  


I guess what Im trying to say here is that, WHY ISN'T EVERYONE COMPOSTING?  Ok back to reality.  Many people don't want to deal with the smell, the flies, the holding on to "trash."  Come on people, all of that can be dealt with if approached with education as your tool.  Key word is EDUCATION!  This is the barrier standing in the way to true progression of the cycle of life.  I say "life" because recycling is synonymous with life, in my opinion.  The lack of waste reduction in the minds of the people is staggering but everyday there are more and more people moving towards the direction of composting and recycling overall. 


Across the country I see and read of various cities with very aggressive composting operations.  Whether it be driven by local small business advocates of sustainability or local government.  This is the attitude and disposition that the majority of cities/towns/municipalities must have if we are to leave our children with positive fruits of our labor.  I know of cities that impose an additional tax on its citizens if they don't compost and other cities that could care less about composting.  How do we bridge that gap between those that are educated and those that aren't.  It's an uphill challenge but one that must be met if we are serious about our survival here on Mother Earth.


So, what did I do with those banana peels and canteloupe rinds?, I bagged them up, threw them on the back of the truck and brought them back to Tallahassee.  Yes, this is how serious I am.  In all actuality, it's not that big of a deal if you just think about it.  We have to "think" my people and educate ourselves on the power of composting  (Not to mention that you could make some money doing it).  I encourage everyone to get involved in composting on some level and play your part in the preservation of our planet.


"Don't TOSS It, COMPOST it"


Protect Your Garden!

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (2)


Does this happen to you, more often than not? Learn to protect your garden from wind and those pesky animals: 

1) Agribon- This is a great tool to use to protect from weather changes as well as small animals that try and eat your food- It is made up of a fabric material that is light enough to maintain the growth of your plants and protect them from those pesky rascals as well. You can also create your own hoop house using this fabric and pieces of wire. 

2) Fencing- Getting a fence that is an inch or half inch in size will help protect your garden as well. Simply put this around your raised bed using stakes to hold it.

and Last

3) Repellents- You can apply garlic or castor oil around the outside of your garden to protect it from animals.

Happy Gardening

WORMS?......WTF

Posted on May 14, 2013 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Yes Worms.  But not just any kind of worm.  The ALMIGHTY Red Wiggler worm.  Proper name Eisenia Fetida.  This little joker, and a couple thousand of his friends will do wonders for your garden and ultimately your health if you take care of them with LOVE that is.  Red Wigglers are commonly known as the composting worm.  Also known as VermiComposting.  This friend of ours does soooooo much for the environment and has such a huge impact on the sustainability of agricultural and ecological systems.  


For those who aren't familiar with worm composting, its basically feeding the red wigglers your fruit and veggie scraps to eat and poop.  Yea, I said POOP.  The best poop you're ever gonna come across.  These "worm castings" have so much microbial activity providing the soil and plants with the best chance to produce healthy flowers and fruit.


Some benefits:


1.  Reduces the amount of chemical fertilizers


2.  Reduces the amount of chemical pesticides


3.  Diverts waste from county and municipal landfills


4.  Enhances native soil quality allowing food production in areas once barren


5.  Produces GOOD, HEALTHY Food


With these benefits, who wouldn't want to start composting with worms to boost your food production.  Do some more research on how you can start your own vermicomposting operation at home.  It's a great way to introduce young people to agriculture as well.


"One man's trash is another man's fortune".......(or something like that).  So stop wasting your "GOOD" trash and feed it to your worms to produce that "BLACK GOLD."


Check some of these links and video's to increase your knowledge on worm composting (vermicomposting).  Remember, there are many different ways that people have experimented with vermicomposting and the containers they prefer, so don't be afraid to step outside of the box when choosing to compost with worms.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DeqE0NJy68

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcclGBtXGrs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntNKYJPzyiI

http://www.wormbincomposting.com/index.html

http://idosi.org/aejaes/jaes5%28S%29/Special%20Issue%20on%20VERMICULTURE%20&%20SUSTAINABLE%20AGRICULTURE.pdf


Sundiata


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