Some people aren't that into compost. For the life of me, I can't understand this. Then again, I once participated in a "farm run" that ended with a roll in the compost heap. So! Different strokes for different folks.
At any rate, Mary Ryther is with me. Last spring she started a business called Compost with Me, and the idea is to keep local food waste in the local foodshed. She lives in Falmouth, and right now she picks up compost weekly from 25 residences and 5 businesses. For the residents, she returns them a bag of compost four times a year in exchange for their waste and $25 a month. The numbers change season to season, like most things around here, but the idea stays the same: rather than ship the valuable nutrients in our food waste off Cape, and worse, either burn them or let them rot in a landfill, why not keep them here? Let them feed our farms! Let them feed our people!
It's a very cool idea, and something I hope we'll be seeing more of now that the state's solid waste food ban has taken effect. (If you haven't heard about this, as of Oct. 1, 2014, the state now prohibits businesses that produce more than a ton of food waste per week from sending this waste to landfills. This affects 1,700 businesses statewide, including places like the Chatham Bars Inn, Shaws, and Stop and Shops on the Cape.)
It's also something that at least one other business is working on locally. Watt's Family Farm in Sandwich picks up from businesses all over the Cape, produces compost, and then sells it back to local residents and businesses. They also raise turkeys, so the turkey poop is mixed in, and the results are awesome. We got some for our garden last year, an entire dump truck full, and we've never had such a successful season. Hooray for waste!
Here are some other local efforts going on to reduce the impact of our food waste:
- Provincetown business owner Ben duRuyter bought a composting machine that turns organic waste into a highly concentrated dark soil in just 18 hours. Whoa!
- Island Grown Gleaning is collecting extra food in the fields and stopping food waste before it happens.
- The Chatham Bars Inn is taking all of its food scraps back to its very own farm, where they're turned into compost to feed the veggie beds.
Have you heard about any other big efforts? Let us know!