Compost + Pigs + Chickens = Stacking Functions!
Realeyes Homestead and Bay Area Recycling for Charities are teaming up to turn city waste streams; Old Produce, Food Waste, Pallets, …into marketable products; Nutrient Rich Compost for amending gardens and farm soils, Pastured Pork, Poultry and Eggs.
Andy Gale of Bay Area Recycling for Charities loves compost! At BARC they collect food waste from various grocery stores and restaurants around Traverse City (Northern Micihgan, USA) and mix it with leaves to break it down into fertile soil. At Realeyes Homestead we raise pigs and chickens on pasture and were looking for ways to supplement our feed costs. That’s when we met, and discovered how mutually beneficial our operations are!
BARC has begun doing composting operations at Realeyes Homestead which is a location close to the city. This reduces the costs of trucking the materials to sites further away. Some of the food waste goes to feed the pigs and chickens here at Realeyes Homestead, cutting feed costs significantly. The rest of it gets composted down, enriching the sterile soil on our site with beneficial microorganisms, nutrients, worms and more! It was a match made in heaven 🙂
In Permaculture, we observe the ecosystems of nature, and seek to mimic them in our human designed systems. One thing we notice is that in a healthy ecosystem, each element performs many different functions at the same time. For instance, a Yarrow plant performs many functions for the ecosystem in which it lives. It’s flowers are not only beautiful, but they attract bees seeking nectar. Yarrow is also a shelter for other beneficial insects like lacewings, parasitic wasps, spiders and beetles. It spreads out along the ground, shading the soil which helps reduce evaporation. It accumulates essential nutrients in it’s body; (Potassium, Phosphorus, and Copper) and is even edible and has medicinal properties!
By stacking functions within our systems we can accomplish more while using fewer resources, time, and money.