Published on 2nd September 2013

wooden compost bin with the word compost painted onto a slate sign

Local food growing projects are on the rise across the country as people are becoming aware of the distances food is being transported around the globe, and want to get stuck in and do it themselves.

It can prove challenging to make your local food growing project sustainable, especially in the current economic climate. The local composting of green and food waste will help to close the loop and make projects more self sufficient.

Down to Earth Co-op has teamed up with the Community Composting Network to deliver a course in Cheltenham aimed specifically at local food growers to get them composting as well as growing. Buying in compost can be really expensive and every grower knows how vital it is to maintain soil fertility to ensure good quality, tasty produce.

The Community Composting for Local Food Growing course is now in its second year and is the only accredited course of its type in the country. Growers will learn how to do ‘hot composting’ which kills weeds, seeds and pathogens so they can have faith in the compost they are producing. They’ll also be shown how to test their soil and compost. Equipment will be available for participants to use to help them kick start their project.

Steve Kirkby, New Shoots, trainee, Rotters Community Composting, Liverpool, said:
 “I thoroughly enjoyed the course and got a lot from both the course tutor and the other participants. They were a really good bunch. The course was extremely well structured and the accompanying course material was as good as I have ever encountered.”

Scott Williams, strategic client officer at Cheltenham Borough Council, added: “Composting benefits are both economical and environmental. The significant benefit of composting is minimising household waste. Keeping organic or naturally occurring materials out of the landfill is something we want to encourage. We think this course is a great way for local residents to find out more about composting as well as growing.”

The three day course is running in Cheltenham on 4th, 11th and 18th October 2013. The cost of the course is tiered and starts at £150. The venue for the course is Down to Earth Co-op; a fantastic inspiring venue with food growing and composting happening on site, so participants can see it first hand.

For more information please visit the Community Composting website, email them or telephone 0114 2580483.

The project is funded by the Big Lottery Local Food fund.