In 2016, The Foodbank, Inc. began repurposing an old parking lot next to our warehouse so that we could grow fresh, local produce right in our own backyard. Since its founding, the urban garden has produced over 30,000 pounds of fresh produce for distribution to our clients. In addition to grow beds, the garden is home to a small greenhouse for seed starting and an in-vessel composting facility. We are also a popular spot for field trips and educational tours for anyone interested in urban gardening!
The Garden and Greenhouse
We grow a variety of fruits and vegetables at the Foodbank in our forty raised beds and variety of growing containers, including tomatoes, peppers, squash, okra, green beans, peas, carrots, cherries, apples, and blueberries. In the colder months leading up to summer, we plant seeds in the greenhouse to kick things off and then transplant them to the outdoor containers once it warms up. During our 2020 growing season, we harvested nearly 7,000 pounds of produce for distribution.
Our in-vessel, continuous-flow composting system is constructed out of a recycled shipping container and manufactured by Green Mountain Technologies. The shipping container shelters food waste from pests and harsh weather while creating the optimal environment for composting. A metal auger mixes the compost, exposing it to oxygen and pushing waste through the unit. The process within the composter takes anywhere from 14 to 21 days, and the product is then moved to a separate location to “cure” for an additional 30 days. We can then use the finished product in our garden! This composting system allows The Foodbank, Inc. to utilize our food spoilage to create a nutrient-rich soil amendment while diverting it from the landfill. Food spoilage and waste are an unavoidable side effect of food rescue, so we believe that by composting we are able to be the best possible stewards of the food products we receive.
Compost Bucket Program
In honor of International Compost Awareness Week, The Foodbank will be launching a Compost Bucket Pilot Program! For $60 a year (only $5/month), you will receive a five-gallon bucket with a sealable lid for your discarded food scraps. If you are interested in signing up for this program, please fill out this interest form. We are only able to accept 30 applicants for our initial pilot program. If the program reaches capacity, we will add you to our waitlist, and you will be notified when more spaces become available.