I know that for some on these lists, the mention of the name "Starbucks" creates the same degree of animosity as let's say Bhopal & Union Carbide, "Neutron Jack" Welch and General Electric and others about whom the last good Republican President, Theodore "Big Stick" Roosevelt called, " malefactors of great wealth, "....but get over it, puh-leeze?
It's only free coffee grounds for the compost!
Mind you, as much as I liked a 25/50 cent cup of coffee, most times, if ya didn't get a fresh pot, it was often gawd awful. And Mom & Pop was not always nice to the dishwashing help, and oh those greasy spoons!
This free coffee mulch is a good thing - and so is this news piece is from the Northern Illinois Journal/Standard - and Happy Arbor Day too.
Clinton Community Garden
Around The Table: Gardening with Starbucks, Arbor Day thoughtsThe earth is awakening!Hostas are poking out in the various borders of the garden, and the spikes of lilies of the valley are reaching to the sun in the front of our house.Indeed, it is gardening time in our part of the world - though it is still a bit early to plant many of our tender flowers.As we were listening to gardening news, there's a new trend a foot. Flower beds now smell like coffee.I won't say it is brand new because my mother and Mom Carlile, both, carried their coffee cups their gardens, where they talked to the plants. Both of them also used the coffee grounds around the plants for mulch.The new coffee ground "kick" under way is being fueled by Starbucks.The coffee shops are handing out spent grounds to gardeners as a nitrogen-rich mulch or compost, reports Reuters."Under the plan - dubbed 'Grounds for Your Garden' - the world's largest coffee shop chain cuts its trash bill by enlisting customers to haul off a chunk of its garbage and earns praise from environmentalists for creating chemical free fertilizer."Starbucks have in the past handed out coffee grounds to customers who asked for them. Now they have mounted a major push. They're setting out five-pound bags of grounds in bins at about 4,000 North American company-owned cafes.This project says Starbucks keeps about 25 percent of its grounds out of landfills.The grounds for composting has become very popular in Seattle, where there are Starbucks stores every few blocks. Embracing the program heavily are gardeners in Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Massachusetts and parts of Florida.Here are some tips that are being offered for gardening with grounds, suggested by Jay Smith of PriceMcNabb, a communications firm.1. Grounds make a great addition to home gardening compost.2. Mix the grounds with soil around acid-loving plants.3. Add brown leaves and grass clippings to mulch to help balance the pH of the soil.4. Mix grounds into compost to accelerate the composting process.5. Grounds should be no more than 25 percent of any one compost pile's content.6. To counter acidity of coffee grounds, add 1 teaspoon lime or wood for each 5 pounds of coffee grounds in your compost pile.7. Help a worm bin flourish by feeding worms with coffee grounds combined with brown materials. And worms are good. They turn organic material into compost.The whole project is a win-win one for environmentalists and Starbucks, the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world.Today is Arbor Day, the tree planters' holiday.It was founded in 1872.The National Arbor Day Foundation is the world's largest tree-planting environmental organization.A nonprofit group with nearly 1 million members, the foundation provides more than 8 million trees for planting throughout America each year.And today is the day that many trees are being planted on this very holiday in Illinois.It has been 132 years since J. Sterling Morton, a journalist and later a newspaper publisher, started this special holiday that "looks to the future."His simple idea of setting aside a special day for tree planting has made a great difference in this country. It has people excited to learn things about trees they've never heard. Got people into action to planting trees.Did you know that Joy Morton, founder of the Morton Salt Co. and other enterprises, was the oldest of four sons of J. Sterling Morton.The Morton Arboretum in Illinois is on the old estate of Joy Morton (of Morton Salt fame). It's been described as a magnificent botanical garden of trees.At the Morton Arboretum, they specialize in the display and study of trees, shrubs and vines. Beautiful gardens and landscapes are found throughout the arboretum's 1,700 acres.More than 41,000 plants representing 3,300 different types of plants from around the world, provide research scientists, horticulturists, arborists, teachers, students and homeowners with a wealth of information.A world-renowned research program develops new trees, studies how trees survive in urban environments and saves endangered plants.Many from Freeport and the area have been at the arboretum. It is located 25 miles west of Chicago at 4100 Illinois 53 in Lisle.Spring is a spectacular time to visit. At this time, the arboretum's landscapes and native woods are alive with colors and textures.Members of the Highland Area Garden Club are getting ready for their 53rd annual plant sale May 8, at the YMCA. Many will be dividing clumps of plants for planting.The Highland gardeners will be offering perennials, annuals, ground cover, and vegetables for sale. Tips and advice will be offered for sale. "All plant contributions are greatly appreciated," said Dollie Elliott, president of the club. Those who are donating are asked to call 235-1061 before May 8.Sale hours will be from 8:30 a.m.to 3 p.m. at the YMCA , 2998 W. Pearl City Road, on the Highland Community College campus.And so once again, we've gathered "Around the Table" to meet a collection of characters, chiefs and consorts.As at our table, if you have any ideas or happenings to pass on, or humorous incidents - past or present - please feel free to join in.We'll pull up a chair for you "Around the Table."Olga Gize Carlile is a columnist for The Journal-Standard. She can be reached at 232-0128 or by e-mail at email@example.com.