One of the things I have struggled with over the past few months is building community partnerships with existing entities. Most of those organizations tend to be government-led in the city. Having to partner with a faith-based organization tends to be something most governments shy away from so to say possibilities are limited would be an understatement.
Yesterday, The Oak House finally found a community partnership that solves two problems. Coffee produces waste. Spend coffee grinds are traditionally thrown right into the trash and then into the landfill. This leaves an opportunity to reduce the waste The Oak House will produce.
There is a community garden at the intersection of East Marietta Street and West Marietta Street in Canton, GA. Coffee grinds are rich in nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and other minerals that support plant growth. Plants that thrive in a nitrogen-rich planting area include leafy vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, corn, roses, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas. As a bonus, coffee grounds are reputed to have a deterrent effect on garden pests. Using coffee grounds as mulch may help repel pests including squirrels and rabbits from damaging vegetables such as beets, broccoli, beans, peas or lettuce.
We will save all of our spent coffee grinds (we produce at least 10 pounds per month and we aren’t even open yet) to be added to the community garden as the gardeners see fit. As we continue to move forward with the building process, we will continue to seek ways to partner with community organizations to make a greater impact on our community.