A few months ago, I signed up for a daily newsletter from Cropmobster, a sort of local exchange board for farming and gardening needs and ideas (or, as they say on their website, “CropMobster is a community resilience platform for sharing resources, trading food and supplies and building relationships for stronger local communities.” Each day I get a list of ‘offers’ or alerts in my area; anything from free chickens to farm equipment to soil classes. Many of them are too far away to take advantage of, but about a month ago I saw something that interested me and was close by in the Bay Area, in Richmond. Urban Remedy, a juice and food company, was offering free veg and fruit pulp to anyone willing to come pick it up. So I made plans to get some weekly, starting in August. Today I went and picked up my first couple of buckets and I couldn’t be more pleased.
You may have seen Urban Remedy in your local Whole Foods. I believe I’ve bought one of their salads from time to time, as a matter of fact. Urban Remedy believes Food is Healing. They use only organic and non-GMO fruit and veg in their juices and meals. They support local farms and community gardens. They have tons of pulp, a by-product of their juicing, and they’d like it to be used by local groups. They’ve had livestock farmers come to pick a lot up, but they have more to give away. While I was there, Van Battle, one of the directors there, gave me a tour around their front yard raised bed garden and beehives, as well as some of their offices. They manufacture right on site, as well. He had the two buckets ready for me to pick up (it’ll be whatever they have handy, or you can choose a ‘green’ mix or a ‘red’ mix). I will bring the buckets home each week, dump the pulp, rinse out the buckets, and bring them back the next week. I’m already going to my local coffee roasters (Highwire) to pick up coffee chaff on Fridays, so I’ll just add Urban Remedy to my routine. I’ve already told Van to double my order next week! While I was there, Van treated me to two of their juices, since I had never tried them before. The Green Berry, which I inhaled on the way out, was delicious, and I’ll have the Deep Cleaning juice tomorrow morning!
The reason I so readily set up these weekly pickups is the state of my compost. I’ve written before about how difficult it is to compost in the summer. It’s just so dry, and anything I put on the compost dries out so quickly that it can all rightfully be considered ‘browns’ rather than ‘greens.’ Tom set up a sprinkler over the pile, which helps, but I really need some fertility bombs to help get the compost moving during the summer. This should do the trick.
Since this pile is in the chicken run, they will likely also eat some of it, which is great. In fact, right after adding the apples, they were all up in it, nibbling.
It might also be interesting to experiment with this material as a mulch. It is high in nutrients, and it might be too high at first; it’ll take some trial and error to decide if that’s the best approach. Meanwhile, I’m really hoping it helps activate my compost pile. Like I said, I’m going to get more next week, as these two five-gallon buckets didn’t go very far!
My only complaint is that the apple pulp still had those pesky white labels in it. They don’t peel those off before they juice the apples, which I’m sure saves them time, but those labels never do compost down and I end up picking them out which is a hassle. I’ll mention that to Van. If there are pig farmers getting huge amounts of this pulp, I’m sure they will also tell them.
If you are interested in getting some of this free pulp, I’d be happy to give you Van’s email - he will be more than willing to explain the company and the philosophy and give you as much pulp as you would like! Write to me (go to the Contact tab to do that) and I’ll send you the info.