A couple weeks ago we finally received word from SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education) that we were approved for our grant. We had been anxiously awaiting the verdict so for a few months and all that nail biting and holding our breath paid off.
What we are hoping to accomplish is to get a food waste from locally owned restaurants and feed it to the worms who will transform it into nutrient rich castings. The plan is to utilize some space on a nearby local farm to house the worms (our place is very limited on space), in return we would like to fertilize a portion of the farms vegetables with castings while leaving another portion untreated to compare the differences throughout the growing season. We are going to keep an eye on the obvious like differences in growth and production but also watch for disease and insect resistance in both plots. This will benefit the restaurants because they will reduce their garbage pick up thus saving money and we hope that it will benefit the farmer by increasing their production and plant strength. We also hope to form connections between local restaurants and local farms by introducing where the trash is going and how it is being recycled to produce food that the restaurants can use and then return the waste once again to be recycled by the worms. The ultimate goal is to show that worms could be of great benefit in reducing the waste steam that pours out of restaurant kitchens.
During this two year endeavor we will also be working to educate not only Chefs, restaurant staff and farmers but also the public, on the importance and benefits of worm composting. We will periodically post updates both here and on our website (http://www.one20farm.com/) on the project's progress as well as notifications and e-mail reminders of upcoming workshops we will be doing.