Through the support of the Ohio EPA, the NAC worked with Oberlin College to pilot a food waste collection system in preparation for a Growing Power workshop. The original intent was to collect for three weeks. It worked so well that we continue picking-up food waste as part of our vermi-composting program.

We describe the vermi-composting program as an example of “full-circle learning”. Students from the college volunteer and work at the farm harvesting the very produce that they will see on their dinner plates. The food waste is then returned to the farm to become soil and nutrients for next year’s crops. In that sense, the end of the food production process becomes the beginning of next year’s growth and the cycle continues to renew itself.

A large percentage of food waste ends up in land-fills. The nutrients and organic matter in the waste stream is wasted and so too is an opportunity to give back to nature what was taken.