Sodexo to team with Laughing Stock Farm for composting project
Sodexo is considering teaming up with Laughing Stock Farm to begin a composting project, contributing to a more sustainable community. Laughing Stock Farm is a certified organic farm owned by Josh and Ann Hardin, located in Sheridan. Laughing Stock Farms reaches out to the community to train and contribute to more sustainable practices.
“We have met three times, spoke via the telephone, and email in the last six months in preparation,” Hardin said. He and Sodexo Marketing Coordinator Justin Roberson met to discuss the criteria of the quality of product for composting. The compost cannot contain any derivative of meat or cooked foods. After much discussion and training, they decided Sodexo would contribute used coffee grounds to the farm’s compost.
“Compost if bought, costs about nine dollars a yard and I use about 300 yards a year. I like to make my own compost, but it costs me twenty, thirty, forty dollars a yard to make my own compost on the farm. I make two batches of composting a year. I have horses and goats as well my neighbors have animals too,” Hardin said. He collects manure all winter and then so at the end of winter builds one big pile about 30 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 5 feet high.
“In the spring, excess grass, and green vegetation is added and allow the pile to heat up,” states Hardin.
The law requires that the compost used must age for a whole year, while documenting the ingredients and temperature of the compost. The USDA stipulates during the aging period the farmer turn the compost multiple times and its temperature maintain 160 degrees. With each turn of the pile of compost, the temperature of the compost decreases.
“It is incredibly difficult process. This is why it is so important that the compost remain contaminant free,” says Hardin. “You cannot add anything new to the pile; otherwise the clock starts all over again, as far as how long you have to age it before you put it into the soil.”
Hardin further explains that the microbial population is higher and fresher when he utilizes more of his own compost materials than commercial.
The first contribution of coffee grounds has yet to occur; Hardin said he is ready to begin the project: “I am not a garbage man but I want to help with trash that is usable. I am very excited about helping out. I hope that this project pans out.”
“We hope students see that Sodexo is actively taking steps towards supporting sustainability,” Roberson said.