Composting and Sustainability: A How -To From our Champions
At Daylesford we are passionate about sustainability and giving back to the farmland that nourishes us. In order to maximise our efforts, each of our farmshops is equipped with a key member of staff who is on hand to ensure that we are doing all that we can to save, reuse and recycle wherever possible across every area of what we do. One such person is Gabrielle Gaela, the Sustainability Champion at our Marylebone farmshop…
“As a sustainability champion at our Marylebone farmshop I help to coordinate the things that contribute to the environmental management of the store. We strive to help cut down waste, minimise our packaging and apply other measures here and there such as encouraging the use of mugs instead of throwing away paper cups. In essence, my role in the farmshop is to work alongside our Environmental Scientist Tim Field to reduce our environmental footprint as a company. Perhaps my favourite element of the work we do in this area, is when we get right back to basics and work to enrich the very thing that we thrive on: our soil.”
“Though I work in the London farmshops, we regularly visit the Kingham farm. Touching base with the team in the Market Garden and around the farm really helps to remind us quite where all of our wonderful produce comes from. My latest visit to the farm was for our annual Summer Festival on the 21 May and once again I met up with Tim Field to catch up on how our store was doing. I also had the opportunity to chat with Dustin Hamilton, Head Gardner for Daylesford House, on the subject of composting.
I began by asking Dustin why we should compost, he replied with: “It is all about giving back to the soil, giving it life. The soil is a living thing.”
We discussed the fact that our stores in London send juice pulp, eggs shells and coffee granules away for composting, and I asked for some advice on how to compost at home so that I could pass this on to our customers.
In a nutshell, here are a few key tips that Dustin was able to pass over to me:
- The recipe for success when it comes to composting is 2 parts carbon (newspaper, cardboard, straw) to 1 part nitrogen (vegetable waste, grass).
- Perennials (plants and shrubs that have a lifecycle of over two years – dandelions, thistles, bay etc) should be avoided as they will take over the heap by rooting.
- Compost mixture should be aerated by turning it over regularly and allowing to get wet without losing moisture.
- Covering your compost with an old carpet or cardboard apparently helps moisture to get in, while it also prevents it from evaporating.
- The minimum space for composting should be no less than 1 meter squared.
Sending back bi-products, such as our compost is only one of the sustainable efforts that we make in our farmshops and London stores. If you have any questions on the matter, we are always happy to help where we can and give you a bag of coffee granules for your own composting efforts while we are at it!”
This Sunday 5th June marks World Environment Day – join us at the farm as we welcome this time to concentrate on preserving and protecting our environment.