Since starting our partnership with Ecotone Renewables in August 2021, we’ve diverted more than 6,000 lbs. of waste from the landfill by sending organic waste to their biodigester. While this is not our only method of diverting waste from landfills, it has a bonus. Ecotone uses this waste to create organic liquid fertilizer, some of which is then used to grow food for the Food Bank.
Ecotone’s ‘Soil Sauce’ organic fertilizer is a more sustainable alternative to synthetic or inorganic fertilizer because organic fertilizer, when used appropriately, increases the soil’s organic matter content; reduces the need to apply chemical fertilizers and pesticides; reduces soil erosion and nutrient runoff; alleviates soil compaction; and helps increase the soil’s water retention ability, reducing the need for irrigation. (Source)
Since Ecotone’s fertilizer has received an organic certification, they are able to provide it to farmers and community groups who have organic farms and gardens, which the Food Bank has. Through our one-acre Food Bank Farm in partnership with Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus, we grow food that is then distributed through our network of agencies, partners and programs. Now that Ecotone has its organic certification, we can use the fertilizer to enhance our efforts at The Farm.
So inedible food that started as a potential environmental hazard, is converted into an environmental asset in the form of fertilizer, which is then used to grow produce for the people we serve. That’s a win the whole way around.