Completing The Food Chain

At the moment a lot of words are written about sourcing of food and how far food has to travel to get to the plate and such like but very little thought has been given over to how we dispose of food waste. Waste has to travel to landfill and then lies in the landfill, taking up precious space and giving off CO2 while it rots away. Even at a small hotel like Gliffaes we generate about a ton of food waste per month from meat and fish trimmings to fruit and vegetable peelings to what is just left on plates.
We have taken a different approach to food waste disposal by investing in an accelerated in vessel composter. This is long insulated and heated drum into which a mixture of food waste and wood chip is added. The wood chip provides added carbon to the very nitrogen rich food waste. The waste is moved along through the composter by a large screw over a period of two weeks. It drops out the bottom and we gather it in a large pile and let it rot for further 3-4 months. Unlike a conventional compost bin we are able to process meat and fish without the added attraction of rats!
Today was the day to start spreading some of the lovely worm rich compost around the gardens. Three loads were spread underneath our apple trees as a rich mulch and to stop the grass growing around the trunks. In the photo you can see me sieving out wood chip for fine compost that we can use for potting in the spring and the last couple of loads went on to the small vegetable patch we have. If anyone is interested in seeing our composter ‘in action’ I would be delighted to show you when you next visit.