Real Food Farm’s New Compost Co-op

This plan and system is part of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance‘s Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders’ Master Compost Training course and capstone. For more information about upcoming courses click here.


Urban Farm Plans Compost Knox System at Real Food Farm

What is The Real Food Compost Co-op? The Real Food Compost Co-op is a membership-based community composting organization partnered with the Institute for Local Self Reliance. We have a five-bin hot composting system designed by the folks over at Urban Farm Plans. Our compost bins are located in the parking lot along side our first high tunnel.

How does the Compost Co-op work?  The Co-op is a membership based community organization. Our primary mission is to be a community resource advocating for sustainable waste management while also rebuilding our soils. Your veggie scraps help us create a rich, finished compost that helps rebuild and replenish our soils. We use compost instead of chemical fertilizers to enrich our farm’s soil, a common practice among sustainable farms that protects the watershed while producing healthy (and delicious) fruits and vegetables! We encourage you to contribute to our system any time, any day, but please consult our list of what we can and cannot compost before dropping off your scraps (see below).

Who does the work?  The Co-op is managed by the production team here at Real Food Farm. We host a work day one Saturday every month.  On these Saturdays, we will build and turn piles, sift finished compost, and do small construction projects as needed. Members are required to volunteer one hour of their time per month.

What’s in it for me?   Most of our members report their primary motivation for joining is diversion of waste from landfills. You’ll be amazed how little trash you throw away once you start composting! Members will also be able to take finished compost for their garden or potted projects!

How can I drop off my food scraps and yard waste?  Members are required to take a one hour compost training which is offered once a month. We will go over how to process your food waste so you can efficiently drop it off in our system. After you have gone through this training, you will receive the combination to our drop-off bin. Members are also asked to volunteer one hour per month to help manage the compost system with us.  

 Please RSVP here for the next Compost Training!

What can I drop off?  Please see our full list of what we accept.

What if I own a restaurant or food business, or want home pickup?  We are always interested in larger sources of organic material and manure. Again, for business and other large-scale drop-offs, please contact Myeasha to discuss first. We also happily receive drop-offs from Compost Cab, a program with a mind for sustainability that is making easier than ever for anyone and everyone to join in the composting movement. If you are interested in scheduling compost pick-up through Compost Cab, visit their website for more information.

What do I do if I have more questions? We’re happy to answer any questions you have so please give us a call at 443-531-8346 or e-mail us at