: News

Urban Agriculture Looks For Urban Compost

Play associated audio
Vinny Bevevino mixes up an acre-wide compost pile to fuel an  
urban farm.
Max Cole
Vinny Bevevino mixes up an acre-wide compost pile to fuel an urban farm.

By Sabri Ben-Achour

Typically unsellable produce from grocery stores and warehouses in the D.C. region is shipped off to get composted as far away as Delaware. One group wants to keep that waste to fuel urban agriculture here.

Just inside the beltway, in College Park Maryland, a small bulldozer is rearranging 100 yard long piles of woodchips and, what looks like, vegetables.

That's Vinnie Bevevino stepping out of the cab. He's with nonprofit Engaged Community Offshoots or ECO.

"Basically we're mixing two main ingredients, food waste and woodchips to make compost," says Bevevino.

A lot of it, he just got 10 tons of unsellable produce from wholefoods, and many more tons of woodchips from Asplundh, the contractor that Pepco uses to trim trees away from powerlines. In a few months, it'll go to an urban farm in Edmondston Maryland.

"Our vision is a network of urban farms," he says.

Apart from creating local organic produce, Bevevino says one goal of urban agriculture is to alleviate poverty.

"Keeping money, keeping our wealth local, not hiring other people when we could be hiring ourselves," he explains.

To do that, he says urban farmers will need impeccable soil to maximize output. His first batch of compost will be ready in September.


No Meekness Here: Meet Rosa Parks, 'Lifelong Freedom Fighter'

As the 60th anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott approaches, author Jeanne Theoharis says it's time to let go of the image of Rosa Parks as an unassuming accidental activist.

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.
WAMU 88.5

World Leaders Meet For The UN Climate Change Summit In Paris

World leaders meet for the UN climate change summit in Paris to discuss plans for reducing carbon emissions. What's at stake for the talks, and prospects for a major agreement.


What Is Li-Fi And When Will You Use It To Download Everything Faster?

Li-Fi is a lot like Wi-Fi, but it uses light to transmit data. NPR's Scott Simon speaks to the man who invented the faster alternative: Harald Haas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.