There’s nothing new about the phrase "farm to table," but what about "waste to table?" The company that takes much of King County and Snohomish County’s food and yard waste is now farming too.
Cedar Grove compost takes in about 350,000 tons of waste annually. Now, the company is turning food waste back into food at its newest venture, Sound Sustainable Farms. It is leasing 16-acres in Redmond.
Stephan Banchero's grandfather started a garbage disposal business in 1938. That turned into recycling and eventually compost. Now, Cedar Grove compost is growing a new direction. It's always looking for new markets for compost in order to keep up with growing waste disposal.
"This farm land was lacking nutrients and ingredients necessary for successful farming. By adding our compost to the mix, we were able to revitalize these 65 acres of land and grow food locally," Banchero said.
Nine restaurants have already signed up to purchase the produce. The Seahawks are also buyers.
"And that's how we came up with our crop selection, based on restaurant's interest locally. So, our plan is to give them food back so they can close the recycling loop, actually take it one step further, farm to table and back to farm," Banchero said. "Snow peas, snap peas, beans, fava beans, other forms of beans."
More than 50 crops, all organic, grown with food waste will end up back on tables all over the Puget Sound area.
"We feel that by being able to bring it back to farming district whether at this farm or other farms within the region, you're focusing on the highest and best end use of compost," Banchero said.
The next step for the farm is creating an apiary for bees.