Real Food Farm’s Compost Co-op

Our composting system was donated by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in exchange for hosting their Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders’ Master Composter Training course in fall 2016. Our Compost Co-op was developed as a capstone project for the course. 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 program 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 of our Clifton Site.

How does the Compost Co-op work?  The Co-op is a membership-based community program. 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 protect the watershed while producing healthy (and delicious) fruits and vegetables! We encourage you to contribute to our system anytime (daytime is recommended though), 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 and when?  The Co-op is member managed but supported by the production team here at Real Food Farm. Members typically host a work day one Saturday every month. On these Saturdays, members will build and turn piles, sift finished compost, and do small construction projects as needed. Members are asked to volunteer one hour of their time per month. Other work days can be scheduled as needed via the internal Co-op Google Group.

What’s in it for me?   Most of our members report their primary motivation for joining is to divert waste away 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 before getting started. 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.  

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 a 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 us 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 e-mail us at