Wow! Week 4 allready! Time flies (when you're having fun). So that's the good news...the bad news is that the project may end in 4 weeks and will definitely end in 8 weeks if we do not get additional funding. If you know of any corporate sponsors that would be interested in getting involved, please let us know! And if you’re an individual that would like to see this project continue, please support us by joining us for our “Feast on the Farm” fundraising dinner and silent auction on March 7, 2010 to be held at Paradise Farms. Three top Miami chefs will be serving up an amazing organic, gourmet vegetarian dinner complimented with organic wines and spirits. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased here.
So back to week 4. This week had the troops out in force! DERM (Department of Environmental Resource Management), Miami-Dade County Solid Waste, Sarasota County, a couple people from the permaculture course, plus the usual suspects, all paid us a visit. Our two curing piles finally fell below 90 degrees (the first pile taking what we expected, about 2 weeks, the second pile actually curing faster in one week) meaning that the piles are “finished”. Samples were taken and sent to the lab to determine nutrient levels and test for heavy metals. If all goes well, both piles will be ready to be sent to the urban gardens. Fifty percent will be going to Roots in the City in Overtown, most of the remainder will be going to Troy Academy Garden, which is attached to a juvenile detention center. Both gardens will be testing the compost to determine the optimal soil-to-compost mixing ratios and how well the compost performs against their current practices. They have also been supplied with a list of produce that the participating hotels currently purchase to get an idea of the market. If the gardens are successful at producing high quality herbs and vegetables, hopefully they will be purchased by local restaurants and hotels, thus closing the food loop! That’s the idea anyhow.
On another note, last weekend I attended my first permaculture class. For those of you that don’t know what permaculture, it’s the use of natural systems to create sustainable agriculture and the results are amazing. Permaculture can accelerate nature’s healing process from 50 – 200 years to 1 – 4 years! For a interesting video on how arid, salty land in the Middle East was turned into an oasis is a matter of months, click here. There’s still an opportunity to take the course (it’s every Saturday and Sunday for the next 5 weeks), just show up at Earth N’ Us farms this coming Saturday morning at 9. The instructor will give you homework to get caught up and you can still become certified. For more info, click here.
Until next week!