Cooperative Neighborhood Composting

| 10/12/2016 10:24:00 AM

Tags: composting, food waste, horse manure, chickens, heathy communities, cooperative living, California, Rachel Stutts,

When I started composting in 5-gallon buckets a year ago, I never could have imagined just how much composting could bring to my life. I'm sure you are all thinking to yourselves, "Really? How much can you possibly benefit from composting?"

Besides the obvious benefit to the environment from reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfills and providing your garden with "black gold", what if I told you that composting has created and strengthened my relationships with my neighbors? What if I told you that it provides me with a weekly workout? What if I told you that I can barter with it? Are you listening now?


Build Relationships with Your Neighbors

We moved into our house a little under a year ago. After 6 months, I had met a couple of our neighbors, but there were still a few others I didn't know very well. What I did know was that one of them had just gotten a horse. Having an organic garden, I couldn't help myself from thinking how awesome it would be if I could compost horse manure to use for amending my garden beds.

On a random encounter with this neighbor, I inquired what they were doing with their horse manure. She indicated they were actually bagging it in small bags for the trash. I offered that they could dispose of it directly in my compost bin (which is very accessible to them), and they have been making weekly "deposits" ever since!

I make sure to take them some fresh produce from the garden every now and then (like when I was overrun with yellow squash). It's a win-win situation and now we are way more comfortable talking to each other. She even brought the horse over into our backyard once for the kids to check out and pet!

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