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Where It Goes

Read all about what happens between collection and growing food!
 

Food scraps collected get transported to a local farm

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Before the food scraps arrive, the farmer digs swales on the contour.  This captures rainwater and traps it so it soak into the ground instead of running off.

The swales contain the food scraps and mulch and are where the composting takes place. 

The swales are then lined with biochar*.

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*Biochar (charcoal made from natural, non-toxic materials that would normally go into landfill or be burned)  is dug into the bottom which loosens the heavy clay and make it free-draining.  Biochar also acts as a permanent form of compost in the soil, holding onto water and nutrients.

Food Scraps are cured onsite

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Collecting Food Scraps from the City and transported to the Farm by Hibiscus Coast Zero Waste. 

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At the Farm they continue Bokashi Composting & curing for two or more weeks. 

Food Scraps are then layered into swales

When cured, the bins and buckets are emptied into the fast feeder and biochar is added. 

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The Fast Feeder spreads the food scraps over the swales and they are then covered with a layer of woody mulch. 

The food scraps go through a four step composting processes

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1. Bokashi fermentation- The anaerobic bokashi-ed food scraps are placed in the swale between a layer of woody mulch on the bottom and a layer of woody mulch on top.

2. Hot composting -The bokashi-ed food scraps heat up to 40-50 Celcius in the presence of oxygen as micro-organisms multiply rapidly and the compost becomes aerobic.

3. Black Soldier Fly Composting - Black soldier flies move in during summer when the compost is between 25 and 35 degrees.  Their larvae munch through the food scraps quickly.  The adult flies do not have mouths and do not spread disease.

 

4. Vermicomposting-Worms move in when the compost is between 15 and 25 Celcius.  They break the food scraps down further into rich, fine vermicast.

Healthy topsoil and food forests are created!

Topsoil building begins! To the left are before and after photos of soil sections on the farm. 

The composting process transforms poor, heavy, infertile clay that is only suitable to grow pine and pasture, into rich mulch-like soil that can support food production. 

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The swales are then capable of sustaining crops with a high nutrient requirement such as bananas and can still support an under layer of annual vegetable crops such as pumpkins, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and  soil-holding ground covers.

The goal is to restore the soil's nutritional and biological health and use it to create a diverse, multi-layered food production system.

This type of food production system is called a Food Forest or Forest Garden and is a common concept in Permaculture. A Food Forest is a diverse ecology of plants growing together.