We’re sharing stories from neighbours in Auckland who are connecting over ShareWaste NZ to divert food waste from landfill. This is Jenny (left) and Katrina (right) from Titirangi.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Jenny from Titirangi. I’m a food safety consultant with an interest in health and wellbeing.
Why did you start sharing your food scraps?
I’ve been wanting to get my own vegetable garden up and running for a long time, but it has stayed in the too hard basket for one reason or another. However, I have become increasingly uncomfortable about throwing compostable food scraps into the rubbish bin or washing them down the waste disposal. A lot of the produce I buy is organic and untrimmed, and throwing away the trimmings and anything that didn’t get eaten quickly enough seemed such a waste of nutrients that could be put back into the garden to build healthy soil and in turn produce healthy food.
What has been the best part about it?
Seeing my food scraps turning into worm castings and soil as part of a local initiative (Katrina’s Kitchen Garden) that not only grows food for the community, but provides opportunities for volunteers to contribute and learn alongside others.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Katrina, I live in Titirangi, and together with my business partner Steve McCarthy have recently started an Urban Farm as a Social Enterprise – Katrina’s Kitchen Garden. I’m passionate about biodynamic gardening, and also localising food production by creating a Closed Loop Urban Farm. We are both passionate about creating meaningful societal roles for people with learning difficulties, and with support from our community through selling vegetables, will provide employment at the living wage or more for an Urban Farmer who has trained with us.
Which composting methods do you use?
What do I NOT use!! My food scraps mostly go into black compost bins, because they are most rodent-proof. I also use worm farms, and my own meat scraps go through a bokashi system. All my garden waste goes either into a pallet compost system, or straight into the middle of a hügelkultr raised bed, of which we now have over 20, spread around a few different properties. My favourite composting technique is to use the Biodynamic preparations from the Biodynamic Association, and we offer workshops in learning this technique.
Why did you start sharing your composting space?
We need more soil for growing vegetables on the urban farm we’re building. I was inspired by the recipient of the Love Zero Waste Award last year – 9 year old Michael Eccles, of Mickey’s bins. Since seeing the publicity of his initiative, I’ve been thinking “If he can do it, so can we.” Worm castings work really well in seed-raising mix, of which I make about 20l a week. I am also really behind the Auckland City Council’s vision of Zero Waste 2040, and want to help people who for one reason or another don’t have a compost bin. It reminds me of the saying “Nau te rourou naku te rourou ka ora te iwi”, meaning with my food basket and your food basket, everyone will be fed.
What do you love about composting?
I love making rich soil to use in the garden, and knowing that the contents were something that had no value. It’s like alchemy for me. The finished product when using biodynamics is even more rewarding. Also, I know Garden Centres do a fabulous job, and really enjoyed my time working at King’s Plant Barn in my university days, but if I could make ALL my own soil, I’d be a very happy gardener – hence the aim of creating Closed Loop Urban Biodynamic Farms.
The Compost Collective has partnered with ShareWaste to bring you a Kiwi version of the web app at ShareWaste NZ.
ShareWaste connects people who wish to recycle their kitchen scraps with their neighbours who are already composting, worm-farming or keep chickens. Now you can divert waste from landfill while getting to know the people around you. Sign up to ShareWaste NZ.
The Compost Collective also runs free composting workshops all across Auckland. Participants get a $40 discount voucher to use on a compost system that suits them.