We Dig Ohio is an annual, one-day summit exploring urban agriculture and community gardening in the Ohio region, and an opportunity to expand your gardening expertise through panels of experts, educational sessions and hands-on workshops.
This year's We Dig Ohio Summit will have a strong emphasis on young gardeners, with the keynote presentation delivered by a panel of four accomplished young agriculturists ages 10-21. Continuing this theme, lunch will be prepared and served by the local youth gardening and culinary program, OSU Urban GEMS. The event also includes a sneak peek of the newly constructed Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden (opening to the public May 2018).
In addition to the wide representation of Ohio gardeners, the summit will also feature nationally renowned leaders in the industry. These presentations will discuss the latest research, best practices, innovations and trends -- in not only community gardens and school gardens, but urban agriculture at large. Register now to reserve your place at the table. For details or to register: https://www.fpconservatory.org/events/we-dig-ohio-urban-agriculture-community-garden-summit/
The thought of a decomposing pile of waste sitting in or near the home might be a little off putting to some people, but it's not nearly as much of a hassle as it may seem at a glance. In fact, compost not only provides health and vitality to your garden and lawn, it plays a major part in cutting down greenhouse gas emissions, landfill overflow and even weed control.
You've probably seen scary statistics, like the World Wildlife Fund's study that claims we will need two earths to sustain ourselves by the year 2050, or that the earth's fish supply will run out by the year 2048, but that doesn't have to be the case. As buzzy and ubiquitous as the green movement has become nowadays, there's a reason it's everywhere. According to the EPA, the amount of landfills that exist in the U.S. has been steadily shrinking for the past 20 years or so. This may sound like a good thing, but in actuality we produce more garbage, so the land fills are bursting at the seams with greenhouse gas and sometimes toxic substances. Some landfills, like Cecil County Central Landfill in Elkton, Maryland even require relocation and remediation by third-party companies like Sevenson Environmental. The growing garbage problem is starting to get stinky. Luckily, there's a lot you can do at home to combat it (and look like an earth-saving hero to all your friends), starting with the simple act of composting.
Why It's Helpful
The EPA reports that approximately 17 percent of all methane gas emitted in the U.S. comes from landfills, which lump dangerous refuse with helpful organic material. By starting a compost bin or area for your family, you are lessening toxic contributions to already overcrowded landfills. The EPA estimates that if every household composted their yard trimmings and food scraps, it could reduce the municipal waste stream by up to 25 percent. Furthermore, The United States Composting Council's findings show that for every one ton of composted waste, .25 metric tons of greenhouse gases are prevented. A Sierra Club study concluded that a family of four could easily create 500 pounds of compost in a year.
A Quick How-To
Did you know that you can compost egg shells, cardboard pizza boxes, nail clippings, old wool or cotton clothing, bills and even condoms? And the list goes on. All you need is a bin, bucket, soil and motivation to make the world a better place for your children. The recipe for compost is simple: use approximately a 1/1 ratio for soil and scraps, alternating approximately four-inch layers. A properly tended compost bin doesn't smell or breed harmful bacteria, as long as you don't add any fats, meats, dairy or oils. Once you begin your foray into greener pastures, be sure to aerate the soil with holes or earthworms. This also quickens the decomposition process. It is also important to stir your compost intermittently so it doesn't become impacted. From there you can use it to make the most beautiful,nutrient-rich garden that your home could ever need— and the earth will thank you
Viridiun, the nation’s leading provider of food recycling services, who is providing recycling services for the country’s largest grocery store chain Kroger, Ohio correctional facilities, American Electric Power and Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants has formally announced the opening of its Westerville, Ohio office.
The new office will allow the food waste and organics recycling company to build on what has been called the “next frontier of recycling”, curbing food waste, helping the local environment and creating new Ohio jobs, while assisting Ohio supermarkets, hospitals, universities, restaurants and other companies to achieve their sustainability goals.
Time Magazine reports that food scraps make up around 30% of our residential garbage stream, and it can make up as much as 40% of all landfill content in the U.S.
Sadly, statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that in 2010 alone, 35 million tons of food waste was generated, with only 3% being diverted for recycling. As landfill content, food waste becomes a source of potent greenhouse gas, methane, which the agency reports “carries 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide”.
The EPA also promotes the many environmental benefits of recycling food waste when turned into compost, which include diverting waste from landfills, improving soil health, reducing the need for supplemental water, pesticides and fertilizers, as well as improving health and sanitation at businesses by eliminating odors and discouraging insects or rodents.
Corporately Viridiun recycles almost three million pounds of organic-by-products per week, a number that increases daily. Spokesman for the company, Randy Abrams says “Viridiun delivers cutting edge food waste recycling solutions for companies that are seeking improved operations while meeting their green and sustainability goals”.
Marne Fuller, Retail Operations for The Kroger Co., the world’s fourth largest retailer, which has partnered with Viridiun stated that “Food waste recycling is a major component of our sustainability initiatives, as we are committed to reducing our overall waste footprint within the communities we serve. In Ohio we have been composting food waste since 2008, diverting 22 million pounds of organic material from Ohio landfills. Kroger associates find recycling food waste vs. throwing it away a natural part of their daily routine, and we are proud of the dedication each associate has toward sustainability”.
At Viridiun, recycling is more than just a process, it encompasses an entire ecosystem of people, process and technologies designed to help companies reduce their carbon footprint on the planet and improve the communities they work in. Choosing to operate on a local level, Viridiun Ohio is donating $100 directly to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank for each new client acquired during the month of March.
Viridiun Ohio, in collaboration with Ohio Mulch, operates a completely turnkey process, all of which takes place in Ohio. Jim Weber, President of Ohio Mulch says “Viridiun organizes and manages food waste collection and transport to Ohio Mulch. Ohio Mulch recycles and processes the organic waste into Green Envy™ soil and potting soil and distributes the end products to our Ohio retail locations to be purchased by Ohio landscapers and consumers”.
Ohio business owners interested in finding out more about food waste recycling in Ohio will find Viridiun on the web at http://www.Viridiun.com .
You think the FDA has your back? Sure, they recently proposed two new regulations to up food safety measures, specifically how food processors and farmers can work better to keep their fresh products free of dangerous bacteria (remember that killer cantaloupe outbreak from 2011?). But while it may seem like the government is out to protect us from bad--even fatal--food-borne illnesses, which cause some 3,000 deaths a year, they don't completely have our best interest--or health--in mind.