The Compostadores: “Keepin’ the nutrients in the Neighborhood!”

Written by Christine Bell, WhyHunger Intern

This post is part of WhyHunger’s Peer Mentor profile series for the “Community Learning Project for Food Justice” (CLP).  Each week through April 2012, we’ll highlight a new CLP Peer Mentor and their contribution to creating a national learning/teaching community to support the growth and expansion of the food justice movement.

Patsey Parker facilitates a compost bin build

Gardening Matters is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving community gardening across the Twin Cities metro area by connecting gardeners to each other, providing training and resources to support gardeners and community gardens, hosting a community garden listserv, and by acting as a clearing house for information about community gardening.  Gardening Matters helps to foster a network of community gardeners to advocate for and educate on community gardening.

Compost bin

Through Gardening Matters, the Compostadores are working to building a neighborhood-based compost infrastructure in the Twin Cities by leading bin-building workshops multiple times a month throughout the cities, teaching the Growing Power method of bin construction.  The Compostadores are a group of individuals extremely enthusiastic about joining together, having a good time, and composting.  This year, they are working to develop a bicycle-based food waste pickup service for the Twin Cities communities. In addition to providing jobs for community youth the Compostadores see the food-waste pick-up service as an opportunity to educate consumers about waste, reduce waste in the community, and cycle nutrients back into gardens through composting.

As CLP peer mentors, the Compostadores are sharing their love for composting and bin building as well as the work they are doing with the City of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to create a safe and effective model for a community-based, owned, and operated composting program.  In exchange, they are learning and developing the skills they need to take their composting operation to the next level by adding a bicycle-based hauling service that specializes in diverting food waste from the landfill and into a network of compost bins in partnering community gardens.

WhyHunger is proud to be working with the Compostadores and Gardening Matters as one of 15 peer mentors participating in the Community Learning Project for Food Justice (CLP).  Click learn more about the www. and this year’s crop of peer mentors.

Read more about the Compostadores’ and their CLP partners Nuestras Raices and Pedal Coop.

Visit the Compostadores blog.

Lorrie Clevenger