Five tons of pumpkins are now “cooking” on the Veteran Compost farm in northern Maryland, being turned into a compost “secret sauce” for local gardens. The haul is the result of local nonprofit Annapolis Green’s Great Pumpkin Dropoff, a partnership with the City of Annapolis to collect pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns in November to gauge community interest in composting.
Residents brought 6000 pounds of pumpkins to Truxtun Park after Halloween and another 4000 pounds after Thanksgiving. Annapolis Green pulled out and donated small pie pumpkins to the Anne Arundel Food Bank.
Annapolis Green is taking orders now for the “Pumpkin Spice Compost” as a unique holiday gift and fundraiser.
“This response tells us two things,” said Elvia Thompson, President & Co-founder of Annapolis Green. “First, considering that these numbers reflect only Halloween and Thanksgiving, just imagine how many tons of food waste is dumped into the landfill every week. And second, this makes clear that our community wants to compost its food waste.”
On the farm, the pumpkins are mixed with wood chips and other food waste in big piles that are turned regularly. Heat from the decomposition process breaks down the nutrients and the seeds. In about two months, the result is a fluffy, sweet-smelling soil amendment that is great for any garden. It is Nature’s fertilizer.
Annapolis Green’s garden at Maryland Avenue and State Circle has served as a demonstration of how productive a garden can be with addition of compost. For the past four years Annapolis Green has sold the “Christmas Crab Compost” – the result of waste from the Annapolis Rotary Crab Feast as a fun holiday gift. No crab feast food waste was available this year so Annapolis Green is offering “Pumpkin Spice Compost” instead. Since the compost won’t be ready for about two months, the holiday gift, available on the Annapolis Green website, takes the form of a festive certificate, a stocking stuffer, redeemable when the compost is ready. See the flyer below.
Annapolis Green is a local nonprofit that brings together environmental leaders, individuals and families, local businesses, government agencies and other nonprofits to create a healthy, thriving community and planet. Information at annapolisgreen.com.