Healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy humans
Michael Kennard founder of the new Compost Club in Lewes, explains how he is composting for biodiversity – and offering an alternative food waste collection system.
At Compost Club we are on a mission to produce compost full of the biology to green our landscapes and produce abundance as well as offer food waste collection to change the current system. We can cycle these nutrients as nature has always done.
In Brighton and Hove there is no food waste collection service provided so this is where most of our members are. But many householders in Lewes have also signed on to our waiting list due to the difference in our approach compared to the current council-offered scheme.
How our approach is different
The composting we do is done in the town, not driven any great distance and the key difference is in the composting process. This is not looked at through the lens of waste reduction, but through a lens of soil regeneration and maximising beneficial microbiology.
Humans have stomachs to absorb their food and rely on an innumerable amount of other organisms to make these nutrients available. A plant’s stomach is the soil! Their roots release energy ‘exudates’ to attract the right biology to make nutrients available to them. If these micro-organisms are not present in the soil then the plants will be vulnerable to pests and disease and not produce the healthiest food.
Ultimately, we see soil as the foundation of life on land, quite literally. We want healthy soil to produce healthy plants for healthy humans and all life on earth.
Joining Compost Club
Compost Club came about as a result of my interest in regenerative practices. My passion began back in my youth when growing edibles. This intensified when I returned to my home town of Brighton and got a small allotment patch to grow. I was lucky enough to study the soil food web with Dr. Elaine Ingham and learn about the many wonders of soil. Real regeneration is possible and it needs to happen now!
Compost Club is a way of bringing local residents and businesses together in our club with a shared goal to reduce the ecological impact of our waste. The measurable impact of Compost Club is that we are intercepting approximately 80,000 litres of food waste from members every year and plans are to grow this significantly just as soon as funds are available. This means that in doing this at our current capacity we are saving the equivalent of 5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions!*
Membership for Compost Club is currently full. But I will be making 60 memberships available in November. You can register interest on the website to be sure to hear about it first. There are quite a few already spoken for.
I also have a handy composting guide available on my website, as well as home compostable sponges and crisps in compostable packets too. I’m trying to make the eco option the convenient option.
*Landfill emissions minus composting emissions. Figure based on calculations from DEFRA.