Keep those scraps coming!
You can help lower landfill waste and our need to purchase soil by donating your kitchen scraps (no meat or dairy), leaves, and other biodegradables to our compost bins. It's easy! Simply drop them off at the farm site. In a few weeks, it will be soil just bursting with nutrition to feed our crops! We also take leaves, junk mail (without plastic windows or staples and ripped into smaller pieces), and non-glossy newspaper.
Our compost deposit bin is located along the fence facing the park. Simply reach over the fence and deposit your food scraps in the bin! No need to unlock the gate. We take all kinds of food scraps except animal products, which would attract pests and break down too slowly (eggshells, however, are okay). Include some carbon-based materials (paper, sawdust, cardboard, leaves, etc.) if possible. See below for details on acceptable materials. Email us or come visit during our open hours if you have questions!
To make this pilot program work well and keep the compost pest and odor free, we need your help. Please do NOT leave bags or bins of food scraps outside the Farm gate when we are closed! This will smell and attract rodents and we will have to cancel this program.
While meat and dairy are compostable, they require a hotter compost system than vegetable matter and are more likely to cause a smelly compost if that high heat is not reached. While we may allow these items in the future, for now please do not bring meat or dairy to the Common Good's compost bins.
Compostable bags and silverware?
While compostable bags and silverware are much better than plastic, we have found that they do not break down fast enough in our piles. We often end up screening them out when we harvest our pods. Please refrain from putting any plastic or compostable bags/silverware into our bins. Sorry for the inconvenience!
We use a system based on modified windrows at Common Good City Farm, developed with assistance from Darren Joffe. It involves sizeable piles of soil, food waste, and straw, built up in layers. It requires some space, but it can take in up to 450 lbs of food waste a month, and produces usable compost in about three months!
Adding woodchips, newspaper or other “browns” to the compost is critical to the compost bin working. Your food waste (“greens”) provides nitrogen to the compost, while these “browns” provide carbon. A 1:3 nitrogen to carbon ratio allows the compost to get hot and break down the organic matter in it. Moisture level and temperature are also important factors, and we monitor the windrows' temperature and moisture.
Need more information about composting? Check out our workshops schedule and take a composting workshop! Or, you can also download the slideshows from the presentation made by our former composter, Niko Welch, at Rooting DC 2012!