In recognition of International Compost Awareness Week, today Tend and Buffalo River Compost, a division of NOCO, helped raise awareness about the benefits of utilizing compost with a donation of five yards of compost to Catholic Charities’ Lovejoy Food Pantry garden located at 139 North Ogden St., Buffalo.
“Compost use is central to a sustainable community by diverting food and plant waste from landfills to produce a product that strengthens existing soils to promote healthier plant growth,” said Brian Murphy, general manager, Buffalo River Compost and director of emerging business, NOCO. “By supporting Catholic Charities’ pantry garden with this donation, we are nourishing the soil that grows the food to nourish those in need – benefitting both our environment and our community. The compost will also act as a natural fertilizer for the garden throughout the growing and harvesting seasons.”
NOCO’s Buffalo River Compost diverts thousands of tons of waste from the landfill annually by composting commercial food waste; tree, leaf, and wood waste; as well as manure from hoofed animals and aged stall bedding from the Buffalo Zoo, and plant clippings from the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. These waste products are used to produce environmentally beneficial compost sold at various local garden centers under the brand, Tend.
“From the initial idea to provide more fresh produce at our pantry, our garden has brought the community closer together through food and conversation,” said Darlene Sery, community outreach specialist, Catholic Charities. “There’s always a teachable moment to be found, from tasting new vegetables for the first time to now learning the benefits of utilizing compost in the garden. We are grateful for Buffalo River Compost’s generous donation to ensure our soil is not only ready for planting but will have the nutrients needed to yield a bountiful harvest later this year.”
Recognizing the need for fresh produce for its clients, Catholic Charities’ Lovejoy Food Pantry started the community garden about 10 years ago. The food pantry itself serves hundreds of individuals and families annually, and the garden feeds approximately 30-40 families a week. In addition to Catholic Charities volunteers, community members have also embraced the garden, coming to pick anytime they like and assisting with weeding and watering. Among the items regularly planted include okra, basil, tomatoes, beans, blueberries, raspberries, cabbage, and more.
Tend offers Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) Certified compost, premium zoo blend manure compost, natural mulch, and premium planting sand, which are ideal for landscaping, home garden projects, lawns, and regenerative farms. For more information, visit growwithtend.com.