[Fertile Earth is hosting a dinner at Paradise Farms tomorrow, May 7. I know this is a little short notice but tickets are still available for sale today. Full details at the end of the post.]
While doing consulting for a Miami Beach hotel with her environmental consulting company, Ecosante, Lanette Sobel realized just how much organic waste hotels produce. The estimate was one ton per hotel room per year in food scraps and yard debris – waste that can be composted and put back into the earth but mostly isn’t.
“There’s an incredible amount [of organic waste] coming out and when we looked into it there was no other way to get rid of it but to landfill it. Every one of our landfills is leaking and it’s creating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. We’re just perpetuating this really backward system.”
It took the organization 17 months to get permits from Miami-Dade County to start a pilot project last year that would take some of that waste, compost it and send it back to gardens like Roots in the City and Troy Gardens. The program ran out of funding before it was supposed to end but this year the group started a worm farm in Homestead to continue turning some of that waste into compost. For now, the group is working with the Mandarin Oriental and the Epic, picking up bins of food scraps twice per week.
“There’s really a big need and we want to promote farm to table but also table back to farm. It’s pretty amazing what they throw out,” said Sobel.
Tomorrow’s Feast at the Farm dinner takes place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Paradise Farms. Tickets are $125 but Fertile Earth will donate $50 worth of castings (rich sustainable soil amendment) in the name of each ticket purchaser to their school garden or community garden of choice.
The menu will be prepared by Ken Blue of the Hippocrates Health Institute, Dionette Kalkhofer, chef/owner of Om Garden, and Micah Edelstein, former Top Chef contestant and chef/owner of neMesis Green Urban Bistro. You can still buy tickets today.