Dishing Up Dirt with $100,000 State Grant

07/05/2020

Durango's Table to Farm Compost has ramped up its production of artisan soil made from local food scraps-turned-compost thanks to a $100,000 state health department grant for projects that divert waste from landfills.

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100:00:00,195 --> 00:00:01,687(plastic banging)200:00:01,687 --> 00:00:03,410- [Wendy] $100,000 grant from300:00:03,410 --> 00:00:06,080the Colorado Department ofPublic Health and Environment400:00:06,080 --> 00:00:08,610has visited one Durango company's mission500:00:08,610 --> 00:00:11,130to divert as much food waste as possible600:00:11,130 --> 00:00:13,040from area landfills.700:00:13,040 --> 00:00:14,680You're watching the Local News Network800:00:14,680 --> 00:00:17,360brought to you by Serious Texas Bar-B-Q.900:00:17,360 --> 00:00:19,530I am Wendy Graham Settle.1000:00:19,530 --> 00:00:21,970Table to Farm Compost has ramped up1100:00:21,970 --> 00:00:24,350its production of artisan soil1200:00:24,350 --> 00:00:26,330made with local food scraps1300:00:26,330 --> 00:00:28,800with the help of $100,000 grant1400:00:28,800 --> 00:00:31,970from the CDPHEs recycling resources1500:00:31,970 --> 00:00:34,600economic opportunity program.1600:00:34,600 --> 00:00:37,820The state program supportscreation of new products1700:00:37,820 --> 00:00:39,280that uses waste materials1800:00:39,280 --> 00:00:42,240that otherwise would wind up in landfills.1900:00:42,240 --> 00:00:44,490Table to Farm Composting service,2000:00:44,490 --> 00:00:48,570founded in 2016 by DavidGolden and Emily Bowie.2100:00:48,570 --> 00:00:52,470And later purchased by MoniqueDiGiorgio and Taylor Hanson.2200:00:52,470 --> 00:00:54,330Offers curbside collection2300:00:54,330 --> 00:00:56,980of food scraps for a monthly fee.2400:00:56,980 --> 00:00:59,110The company also recycles glass,2500:00:59,110 --> 00:01:01,930and it uses the materials to make compost2600:01:01,930 --> 00:01:05,600that it processes intosoil for farms and gardens.2700:01:05,600 --> 00:01:08,318Since assuming ownership,DiGiorgio and Hanson2800:01:08,318 --> 00:01:10,660have significantly expanded their2900:01:10,660 --> 00:01:12,610food waste recycling program3000:01:12,610 --> 00:01:15,460to include restaurants, twin buttes farm3100:01:15,460 --> 00:01:17,550and Albertson's grocery store.3200:01:17,550 --> 00:01:18,580The grant allowed them3300:01:18,580 --> 00:01:20,330to purchase the equipment they needed3400:01:20,330 --> 00:01:23,270to ramp up productionof their artisan soil.3500:01:23,270 --> 00:01:26,878And to hire six fulland part time employees.3600:01:26,878 --> 00:01:28,978- [Taylor] Monique andI's goal is really to,3700:01:28,978 --> 00:01:32,360divert as much waste aspossible on the one hand.3800:01:32,360 --> 00:01:36,010And I think another big pillar for us3900:01:36,010 --> 00:01:37,650is community education.4000:01:37,650 --> 00:01:38,860So it's like,4100:01:38,860 --> 00:01:39,940what is the education?4200:01:39,940 --> 00:01:41,970What's the value behind compost,4300:01:41,970 --> 00:01:43,430both environmentally4400:01:44,767 --> 00:01:46,630and economically?4500:01:46,630 --> 00:01:47,630- [Monique] With that funding,4600:01:47,630 --> 00:01:50,120we were able to purchase a mixer.4700:01:50,120 --> 00:01:51,470It's interesting 'cause it's actually4800:01:51,470 --> 00:01:53,020like a cattle grain mixer,4900:01:53,020 --> 00:01:55,660but we use it to mix our artisan soil.5000:01:55,660 --> 00:01:58,480We also received and purchased a bagger,5100:01:58,480 --> 00:02:02,670which allows us to measureand weigh out the product5200:02:02,670 --> 00:02:03,503and bag it.5300:02:03,503 --> 00:02:07,290So it makes it much moreefficient than bagging by hand.5400:02:07,290 --> 00:02:11,060We purchased a glasscrusher which allowed us5500:02:11,060 --> 00:02:14,420to take glass that we pickup from our customers.5600:02:14,420 --> 00:02:16,230And we actually crushed that5700:02:16,230 --> 00:02:17,830and put it in the final product.5800:02:17,830 --> 00:02:19,435It creates a really great5900:02:19,435 --> 00:02:22,260opportunity for drainage and silica.6000:02:22,260 --> 00:02:24,740Instead of having to usesomething like perlite.6100:02:24,740 --> 00:02:26,130We also used some funds6200:02:26,130 --> 00:02:28,466to upgrade a grinder for wood chips.6300:02:28,466 --> 00:02:31,250And what you see behind us is our hopper6400:02:31,250 --> 00:02:34,650and our trommel that allowsus to sift the compost6500:02:34,650 --> 00:02:36,343and get a really fine product.6600:02:37,210 --> 00:02:38,430- [Wendy] Although business collections6700:02:38,430 --> 00:02:39,850declined last spring,6800:02:39,850 --> 00:02:43,070while the state home ordersfrom the pandemic were in place,6900:02:43,070 --> 00:02:44,580Table to Farm saw a boost7000:02:44,580 --> 00:02:46,880in curbside residential collections7100:02:46,880 --> 00:02:49,680and increased demand for its soil.7200:02:49,680 --> 00:02:53,840- [Monique] One of theunanticipated consequences of COVID,7300:02:53,840 --> 00:02:56,680was that people are startingto understand the value7400:02:56,680 --> 00:02:57,900of growing their own food,7500:02:57,900 --> 00:02:59,310which is so cool.7600:02:59,310 --> 00:03:01,630And so we entered themarketplace this year7700:03:01,630 --> 00:03:03,350with people getting really excited7800:03:03,350 --> 00:03:04,890about having their own garden,7900:03:04,890 --> 00:03:06,070growing their own food.8000:03:06,070 --> 00:03:09,230And so locally madecompost and artisan soil8100:03:09,230 --> 00:03:12,300is a great way to getyour garden really healthy8200:03:12,300 --> 00:03:13,380and up and running.8300:03:13,380 --> 00:03:14,480So we were really pleased8400:03:14,480 --> 00:03:16,610to see a bit of an uptick in sales,8500:03:16,610 --> 00:03:19,310because there's justmore of a consciousness8600:03:19,310 --> 00:03:23,270around gardening, with the COVID.8700:03:23,270 --> 00:03:24,890- [Wendy] Table to farm artists and soil8800:03:24,890 --> 00:03:27,100starts as a mixture of food waste8900:03:27,100 --> 00:03:29,370sawdust from the Durango Wood Company9000:03:29,370 --> 00:03:31,960and Biochar from wildfire mitigation9100:03:31,960 --> 00:03:33,750in the San Juan Mountains.9200:03:33,750 --> 00:03:36,170The mixture takes abouta year to break down9300:03:36,170 --> 00:03:38,050into usable compost.9400:03:38,050 --> 00:03:40,430Which is then tested by a local lab9500:03:40,430 --> 00:03:42,730for its nutrient composition.9600:03:42,730 --> 00:03:45,770- Once we have a good baselinereading of the nutrients,9700:03:45,770 --> 00:03:48,421we can see what nutrients to add.9800:03:48,421 --> 00:03:51,450And then the other parts of the soil9900:03:51,450 --> 00:03:55,180are our peat moss and that'skind of for moisture retention.10000:03:55,180 --> 00:03:56,570And then the other part is the glass10100:03:56,570 --> 00:03:57,750which helps with drainage10200:03:57,750 --> 00:03:59,830and helps the soil kind of move.10300:03:59,830 --> 00:04:01,260But really the main ingredient10400:04:01,260 --> 00:04:04,800is the compost and ourcompost is quite balanced.10500:04:04,800 --> 00:04:07,560But what we have added is, kelp meal10600:04:07,560 --> 00:04:08,832from the ocean and that's kind of10700:04:08,832 --> 00:04:11,700like a multivitamin for your soil10800:04:11,700 --> 00:04:13,070as well as chicken manure,10900:04:13,070 --> 00:04:15,590which gives it a reallynice nutritional kick.11000:04:15,590 --> 00:04:17,440The coolest thing about this soil11100:04:17,440 --> 00:04:20,390is it's almost entirelyfrom local ingredients11200:04:20,390 --> 00:04:23,160and it's gonna be justas good as any other11300:04:23,160 --> 00:04:25,330fancy commercial soilsyou get at the nursery,11400:04:25,330 --> 00:04:26,439if not better.11500:04:26,439 --> 00:04:28,330(logo whooshing)11600:04:28,330 --> 00:04:30,060- Table to farm artisan soil11700:04:30,060 --> 00:04:32,240is available for sale online,11800:04:32,240 --> 00:04:34,950but will soon be availablein area nurseries.11900:04:34,950 --> 00:04:36,480If you'd like to know more about12000:04:36,480 --> 00:04:38,070Table to Farm Compost,12100:04:38,070 --> 00:04:39,820its Curbside Pickup Service,12200:04:39,820 --> 00:04:41,840or to order artisan soil,12300:04:41,840 --> 00:04:45,070visit tabletofarmcompost.com12400:04:45,070 --> 00:04:46,920Thanks for watching this edition12500:04:46,920 --> 00:04:48,270of the Local News Network.12600:04:48,270 --> 00:04:49,673I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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