Thanks to Gainesville Compost . . .

Chris Cano of Gainesville Compost is on the far right

Chris Cano (far right) and our expressive Friday crew

We have worms!  Chris from Gainesville Compost helped students build a large worm bin to dispose of some of the snack scraps we produce. Students are amazed at how quickly the vegetable matter “disappears.”

gnv compost

WORMWe are so grateful and proud to work with Gainesville Compost. They have been regular helpers, and this new composting system not only helps the students learn about worms and their function in decomposition and soil conditioning but will also teach the many visitors we have at Loften.

You can learn a lot about them and how to plug into their bike-powered composting service and advice here.

Reduce, reuse, recycle…

Cardboard boxes vs. RPCs. We know who should win this competition.

Cardboard boxes vs. reusable packing crates. We know who should win this competition.

Reuse is a challenge in food service due to food safety concerns, but we are doing our part. Students are learning about separating recyclable trash, composting waste generated by gardening and food preparation, and experimenting with the special packaging requirements for hydroponic lettuce (paper does not do the trick . . . we’re still trying).  Recently, through our Farm to School grant, we were able to purchase reusable packing crates – also known as RPCs – which will help reduce the number of waxed cardboard boxes in the landfills. RPCs are being used to transport lettuce from both local farms and our greenhouse to the lunchroom. In the process, students are using their food safety skills as they work with staff and volunteers to wash and sanitize the crates as they head back into the cycle. This is another way the Farm to School to Work Hub is keeping it local and keeping it healthy – for our students, our farms, and our environment.