The Community Composting Program at Koiner Farm is creating a truly closed-loop, micro-food system in the East Silver Spring neighborhood.
AT KOINER FARM
The Community Composting Program at Koiner Farm was established in 2020. This program provides on-farm composting capabilities for up to 50 households. This program is led by CKC's Compost Manager, Peter Lewis, and maintained by a team of interns who work with Peter to learn the ins-and-outs of operating a 3-bin hot compost system on an urban farm. If you would like to participate in the Community Composting Program at Koiner Farm by donating your food scraps, please send an email to Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year (2021), the Community Composting Program at Koiner Farm diverted approximately 12,800 pounds of kitchen scraps from the waste stream and produced 18.5 cubic yards of quality compost that was used directly on the fields at Koiner Farm. In 2022, with support from the Maryland Sierra Club, Koiner Farm's Compost Manager, Peter, overhauled our 3-bin knox system. See before and after pics below...
Upgrades to the Compost Hub were made possible by a grant from the Sierra Club, as well as love, sweat and tears from Koiner Farm's Compost Manager, Peter Lewis. This work was completed February 2022.
Compost for life...
HOW DOES COMMUNITY COMPOSTING WORK?
How does community compost work? As shown in the above graphic, Community Composting is a hyper-local, closed-loop system that provides the double benefits of not only reducing carbon emissions, but sequestering carbon as well. Almost all of our compost inputs - including farm scraps, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and saw dust - come from sources within walking distance of Koiner Farm. Local businesses, such as Kefa Cafe and Abernethy's Sticks, save their waste products - coffee grounds and saw dust, respectively - for us to pick up. Neighbors save their kitchen scraps and bring them to Koiner Farm on their own schedule.
What is the Bokashi method? A particularly important piece of the Community Compost Program at Koiner Farm is the use of fermentation as a pre-treatment of the food waste. We use a technique called Bokashi to do this. Bokashi helps us (1) control when piles are built, (2) increase degree of decomposition for things like eggshells, and (3) reduce rodent pressure. Bokashi is centuries-old composting method, believed to have originated in Korea. Based on our experiences with urban farm composting, we strongly encourage the adoption of Bokashi as a best practice when composting on an urban farm.
If you would like to participate in the Community Composting Program at Koiner Farm, please send an email to Peter at email@example.com to schedule your compost tour and training.
All who have taken the compost tour and training are welcome to participate in the Community Composting Program at Koiner Farm. We suggest that Community Compost participants make a $10.00 per month contribution to CKC. This will help us cover some of the cost associated with this program, such as the part-time Compost Manager position. That said, all are welcome to join this program regardless of ability to pay. Those who can pay the full suggested amount (or a little more) help subsidize those who may not be able to pay. Your participation and contribution in this program, no matter how big or small, is greatly appreciated!
THE RULES AND REGS
OF COMMUNITY COMPOSTING AT KOINER FARM
Peter runs a very coordinated and scheduled composting system at Koiner Farm. Please do your best to abide by the Rules and Regs of this program, so that the farm keeps running smoothly.
Remove all stickers from peels.
Cut food scraps into 1-inch pieces and crush up egg shells.
Never put plastic (not even compostable plastic) in our bins.
No printer paper or paper with ink in our bins.
No animal products - including meat, fish, bones, and especially pet waste (eeew!) - in our bins.
No cooking oils, butters, or salad dressings in our bins.
Never leave your kitchen scraps where animals could get them! All kitchen scraps should be placed into the air-tight 5-gallon buckets located within the metal trashcans.
Always press out the air and cover your scraps with sawdust when adding scraps.
If you are practicing Bokashi composting at your own house and dropping off your own air-tight 5-gallon bucket of Bokashi-treated kitchen scraps, please place your bucket in the designated area of the garage.
If you are not sure what to do, please ask someone at the farm, or send a WhatsApp message to Peter at (240-475-2719).