Your weekly update on all things compost related!

Lissie adding browns to the pile

Happy St. Roch Sunday! This week we collected one full bin of food scraps from the Green Project. We also collected two full bins from the Galvez Garden.

Next week we will collect from the Green Project, but will be closed at the Galvez Garden, as next Sunday is Christmas. It will mark the first time we have not offered Compostingf on a weekly basis since we started working with Compost NOW. I’m pretty darn proud of that! But… it’s Christmas… I have a three year old (and husband) that are really into it), plus Compost NOW suggested we close… so, heads up folx: we’re taking Christmas off!

As we reflect on the end of the year I have to say there are a lot of things to feel proud about! We’ve officially been in operation for one year, and I can’t help but look back feeling like we’ve accomplished so much in a very little amount of time! Our site has become popular among people looking to compost, and we average collecting two full bins at our garden weekly, diverting that much food waste from our landfills. As it is also a time to reflect on lessons learned and look towards the future of our pocket park, it is with a heavy heart that I think we will not be able to continue to process waste with the Green Project in the coming year. It’s just too much and it’s not sustainable for our operations.

We’ve let Compost NOW know of our limitations and we plan to work with them as we transition out of this additional role. I just would hate to have to stop operating, and as the trajectory was leading towards that being a possibility, it is with humility and scientific certainty, I’m addressing the reality of what we can handle before it comes to that.

We have one full bin, and it will need time to cure. The second bin is filling so fast, that even with an additional bin, it simply will be too much for us. We are not permitted to have anything larger than a three bin composting system under the terms of our lease. Going back to offering one day a week will give the compost enough time to cure just makes sense. Guided by the principles of permaculture and restorative practices, I mustn’t work the land harder than it can handle.

I also recognize the significance of community relationships and we plan to work with the Green Project as long as possible until Compost NOW can find another site to take the food scraps. We just love the Green Project and promise not to leave them in the lurch. But as you can see, we’re adding so much that the pile doesn’t have time to shrink to accommodate for the extra scraps. I imagine if you’ve read this far, you can tell, this is really disappointing for me to accept.

I’ve read the tea leaves, and it’s the best course for our garden and avoiding potential interruptions. It’s of huge importance to me that our St. Roch Sunday drop off remains a consistent site for the city to collect food scraps to turn into compost, so based on that intention, it’s been decided.

In other news I took a really bad fall down the stairs the other day. My back left ribs took the brunt of it. All I wanted to do was garden this weekend and I can’t take a ride down our crazy NOLA streets without wincing in pain every time I hit a pothole. Just like I’ve written in many posts before, there is always more work to get done in the garden than there is time. The only difference in this experience is I had the time and lacked the ability to physically do so this week. So huge shoutout to my phenomenal husband who stepped in took care of all the heavy lifting for me this week. I don’t what I would do without him.

To follow up with previous posts about funding, I submitted two grants for the garden this week. Fingers crossed for some financial support in 2023! I’ll be sure to keep y’all posted if anything comes from my efforts.

In closing, I’m surrounded by Christmas lights, a loving family, and so much gratitude. Yeah, sure my back is killing me, but there’s just so much to be thankful for, my heart is full. I wish y’all happy holidays and look forward to the new year and next adventures in store for us and our little garden in the big easy.

The family that composts together, stays together

Published by Lissie

Artist, dreamer, doer. Mother and wife. Environmentalist and inspired idealist. Making in the Big Easy.

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