You’ve probably heard the benefits of using compost in your garden, but the U.S. Composting Council (USCC) recently completed a campaign that shows just how useful compost can really be. The council launched the Million Tomato Compost Campaign last April to help community gardens nationwide improve their soil and provide fresh produce for local food pantries, and this fall the campaign reached its goal, harvesting more than 1.2 million tomatoes at 100 gardens.
The USCC facilitated the donation of 540 dump trucks’ worth of compost from 85 compost manufacturers to get the project started. Tomatoes can be particularly difficult for new gardeners to grow, and having high-quality soil amended with compost is important to success. Using compost can help soil retain water and can even reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, according to the USCC.
Celebrity chef Nathan Lyon, author of the cookbook Great Food Starts Fresh, served as spokesperson for the campaign, encouraging gardeners and providing tomato-based recipes.
“The Million Tomato Compost Campaign has proven that people across the country are hungry — not only for fresh, healthy sustainable food, but also for the tools they need to grow healthy food on their own. That starts with good soil and compost,” Chef Lyon said in a press release. “Starting with the soil is so important because healthy soil leads to healthy food, which builds healthy people and communities.”
The campaign successfully brought many parties together to produce local food. Compost manufacturers, community gardens and food pantries all played important roles in providing healthy options for families in their communities.
For information about where to buy compost for your garden and how to use it, visit the USCC’s website.
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