This month we’ve been thinking a lot about compost. And our community has been, too. Not too long ago, we received a call from Carman Landscape Architects. They had an idea and wanted to know if we were interested in a partnership.
John Carman had been gathering up all the coffee grounds from his office’s breakroom and using the grounds in his own backyard compost pile. This got him thinking — What if several offices collected their coffee grounds and made a donation to help a local farm?
T, a survivor participating in our farm stipend program, recently wrote a reflection that speaks to why John’s idea was so meaningful:
“Making compost is a lot like the art of gardening. Composting is a way that nature recycles, it is a process that is used to break up waste, food, leaves, grass, manure, coffee, tea, worms and paper. Compost is good for replenishing the soil and used as a fertilizer for your gardens or houseplants. Composting is a vital strategy for every garden and recycling food scraps is healthy for you and the earth, compost can help with many plant diseases and you can also compost during winter.”
Soon, John’s idea had activated a community network of partnerships! He reached out to Ryan at Seedleaf, who shared that their organization often makes donations of compostible material to our farm. Beth, a friend of our agency who was now working at Carman Landscape Architects, was familiar with our farm’s mission and thought we would be a great fit.
Oh, and Earth Day was coming up in a few weeks. Perfect timing.
So, they began engaging other businesses to save their coffee grounds for survivors. In a short time, several had signed on to help: Coffee Times, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Big Ass Solutions, ALT32, EOP Architects, Omni Architects, Shrout Tate Wilson Engineers, EA Partners, Tate Hill Jacobs Architects, Nomi Design, Tates Creek High School, Fayette County Public Schools Main Office, and many more.
In the end, almost a ton (literally) of grounds was collected! The pre-compost material was stored in buckets and delivered to our farm on Earth Day.
But wait. There’s more! That very same day, we also received a donation of finished compost from our friends at Creech Services. The earth gave us lots of rain this Earth Day, but also sunshine. The day was a powerful reminder of nature’s ability to nourish and sustain our needs and the meaningful contributions our community makes to the farm.
A, also a survivor and participant in our farm stipend program, reflected on her gratitude for the community’s donations to the farm:
“Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming. At the simplest level, the process of composting simply requires making a pile of wetted organic matter known as green waste (leaves, food waste) and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of weeks or months. Compost is the single most important supplement you can garden soil. Compost as a simple way to add nutrient rich humus which fuels plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil. It’s also free, easy to make and good for the environment. Thank you!”