416: Sarah Boltwala-Mesina on Community Composting.
Transforming waste into soil, jobs, and community.
Sarah is the executive director of Inika Small Earth, a nonprofit that started Food2Soil where they train interns in good composting techniques. Food2Soil collects vegetative food scraps from local restaurants then composts the scraps at two urban farms in San Diego, selling the finished product to local gardeners looking for high-nutrient soil.
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Inika Small Earth is a charitable organization working to enhance the network of community composting hubs across San Diego. Their aim is to build the collective capacity to transform food scraps into soil and jobs for the community.
In This Podcast:
Sarah Boltwala-Mesina, along with other parents, hoped to start a recycling program at their children’s school. This was the first step on her journey to creating Food2Soil, her business that collects food scraps from people and businesses in San Diego and turns those scraps into rich compost. Her company provides services helping homeowners become successful composting in their own backyard, provides hubs around the city for people to drop scraps off, and offers scrap pickup service to restaurants. There is even a wait-list of businesses and breweries hoping to participate.
Listen in and learn about:
“I was headed to Wall Street and fell into the dumpster along the way!”
- Sarah’s journey to community composting
- The three levels of services offered by Food2Soil
- Dealing with city regulations and still being successful
“Even if Food2Soil were to fail and this would all just not pan out in the end, I think the fact that we’ve been able to offer a different model, start the beginning of a paradigm shift, for me is success.”
As well as:
- Her failure – We’ve tried to implement some programs in Food2Soil that were not received well by the community.
- Her success – Showing that community composting can be a viable option
- Her drive – Designing a self-functioning organization that helps people, provides jobs for people, serves the planet and is financially secure is my challenge.
- Her advice – Start somewhere. When we try to solve a really big problem, just take that first step and things will fall into place.
Sarah’s Book recommendations:
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux
How to reach Sarah:
Stay tuned for Sarah’s article on Hot Composting available on January 16th at www.urbanfarm.org/sarahshotcompost
To learn more about more about Growing Your Own Food
And to see the I’m an Urban Farmer line
Note: You can also find these books mentioned above at one of our favorite local independent bookstores and have the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a small business.