Last Monday GroundZ Recycling LLC. celebrated with Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Buckeye Farms, for their open house plus a composting tutorial. We can never properly compost at this composting hub without the help of fifteen Green Corps. workers at the farm. But who are the Green Corps.?
The Green Corps. was founded in 1996 at Cleveland Botanical Garden’s MidTown farm at East 66th and Chester. Green Corps. is a three year program employing youth, mostly from Cleveland Metropolitan School District, covering lessons on plant biology, soil, composting, nutrition, food economics, and (urban) agriculture.
“We now operate five farms around the city and employ between 65-75 youth throughout the summers,” said Julia Ferguson, Buckeye Farms manager. “We recruit through the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, local youth organizations, and community groups, and through word of mouth by the students.”
Green Corps. workers are industrious, always ready to help, including construct 100 square foot active compost areas (teaching them about Ohio EPA’s new composting regulations’ 300 square foot exemption). Groundz Recycling LLC. provides the food scraps and training while Green Corps. provides the staff to help maintain the farm and get an opportunity to recycle their organic farm waste mostly plant trimmings, weeds, over-grown food crops, and brew waste from Great Lakes Brewery. Weeds that have gone through our compost do not survive do to high composting temperatures and high acidity. We sometimes add Romaine lettuces (because they have grown too large giving their taste a somewhat bitterness), but for the rest of the produce, it gets sold.
“Our produce and product is sold at on-site farm stands weekly at each Learning Farm, as well as at the Shaker Square, Tremont, and Public Square Farmer’s Markets,” said Ferguson. “Our salsas and sauces can also be found at Heinen’s and the Cleveland Botanical Garden Gift Store.”
All of Cleveland Botanical Garden Learning Farms where youth are employed with Green Corps. conduct evaluations to help them understand how to provide unique employment opportunities to build job skills, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
Please visit: http://www.cbgarden.org/lets-learn/green-corps.aspx to learn more about Green Corps. locally and organically grown produce.
Contact: Julia Ferguson, Buckeye Farms manager, for more details.