Despite the harshness of Nova Scotia winters, I’ve found frozen compost to be surprisingly enjoyable… no slime, no smell, and it spreads quite easily when broken up with a shovel. We have 6 IBC totes as compost bins, which are now more than half full, with three of them completely packed and the fourth almost full now. We’ve never had much waste from the beginning, having been blessed to sell out of most things daily. The vast majority of what’s filling these bins, is the scraps from veg prep for our popular Grab & Go take home frozen meals at 5 meals for only $20. We’re producing thousands of these products, resulting in tons of raw materials.
I’m told that when this stuff thaws, it should decompose even faster than usual. This could be due to either the increased oxygen content from the voids between frozen scraps, or perhaps just freezer burn. Either way, the sooner the better, because the thousands of seeds planted last year have multiplied into tens of thousands! The nasturtium didn’t do as well last year in the crap soil, with only a few seeds left behind. However, the sunflowers, zinnia, marigolds, and purple kale have produced quite nicely.
Of course there will also be the inevitable “volunteers” that will spring forth from the cafe compost when it’s ready and tilled in. There are tons of squash and bell pepper seeds, but no tomatoes, which is one of the few things not to be found anywhere on our menus. Life has a tendency of showing you which species are best suited to the environment, so we’ll have to see what happens.
One of the more deliberate landscape design elements we hope to incorporate on these old high school grounds is tree planting. This will take a bit more planning and research, but once our compost levels increase even more, we can being with this foundational planting for a long term permaclulture food forest! Until then, we’ll be waiting for the thaw like everyone else, looking forward to the abundance of life to come forth in spring.
Another thing that we’re really looking forward to is the introduction of up to 20 bee hives from our friends at Sweet Summer Honey. We’re so proud to have our own exclusive honey supplier, who made us 3000 pounds of honey last year! Producing even more onsite is going to be amazing 🙂