CHICO — Don’t toss those fallen leaves just yet: they could be worth gold in the composting community.
The Butte County Local Food Network is relaunching its composting program at its Vecino Neighborhood Composting Site at 1535 Laburnum Ave. in Chico on Sundays from 9 a.m. to Noon.
The program will provide a 5-gallon bucket and lid for each household to transport food waste to the composting site in exchange for a fresh bucket of compost.
Vecino Community Garden Project Manager Amy Roseman said that the composting site is planning to serve more than 100 families’ composting needs by the end of 2022.
“As our compost gets finished, then if you would like it you’d receive free compost in return,” said Roseman. “You can give it to a friend or just encourage that it stays within the community garden.”
The Butte County Local Food Network was approved last week for a grant that is allowing them to upgrade their current composting site to accept more households to its composting program.
One barrier that stops people from composting is the space required to compost like those in apartments or a dormitory. Roseman said this program would help alleviate that requirement.
“Lots of people are pretty fortunate to have land access, but the realistic part of that is that a lot of people don’t and it’s getting harder and harder,” Roseman said.
There are limitations to the program: households must follow guidelines and sign up either at the site located at the Vecino Community Garden or by contacting the Butte County Local Food Network on Facebook or their website at https://bclocalfood.org/.
In addition to providing composting services, the Butte County Local Food Network hosts workshops on composting and other agricultural topics like dye-making, hydrosol products and seed collecting.
The composting site is part of the Vecino Community Garden, a demonstration garden used in their workshops to teach the public. They also accept donations for their garden and will take gardening supplies, 5-gallon buckets, seeds and tools.
Roseman said visitors are invited to come to the Vecino Community Garden to volunteer and learn about community gardening or if they have specific questions about composting.
Butte County Local Food Network member Ali McMorrow said the work done at the community garden can be applied throughout all of Chico.
“Chico has really wonderful soil so there’s no reason why we can’t get food to be grown in your yard,” McMorrow said. “If you live on a patio with hardly any sun, we can come up with ways to make it possible for you or connect you to a local community space.”