Monday, July 13, 2009

Compost Doesn't Just Happen!

Feed Denver, The Urban Farm at Stapleton, and Waste Farmers are beginning the first stage of the Metropolitan Denver Community Food Project by beginning to farm soil doesn't just happen! Okay, it does... but maybe not in a way that can be organized to create the new soil needed to build the farms that will grow the food that we hope to be eating in Denver.

This project will take place at The Urban Farm on their fabulous 23 acre spread on the Stapleton greenbelt. After eleven years in this location they have accumulated a mountain of manure...and it keeps coming everyday as they have a vibrant program teaching and caring for livestock right here in the city. They work with families and children to teach them about animals and farming.

Feed Denver will join The Urban Farm to create a program based on the Growing Power vermiculture program to create healthy fertile soil using vermicompost techniques. Vermicompost...that means worms! We will be breeding worms to clean and fertilize the soil. Did you know worms can be used for bioremediation of soil, reducing contaminants by up to 98%? And they do not retain any contaminants in their bodies! Pathogens, such as E. coli, are killed in the worm's gut while worm castings (that's worm poop, to you!) help fight a variety of plant diseases and can protect against certain insects. Worms are amazing!

This is all very exciting, but we will need more compost materials than just manure. We are working with Waste Farmers to gather organic matter from all over Denver. We will be using coffee grounds, beer mash, pre-cooked vegetable waste from restaurants and grocery stores, wood chips and sawdust, leaves and hay. It is absolutely amazing how all of this just naturally becomes rich, fertile soil!

No comments: