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RE: CAUTION - Free Compostable Coffee

  • Subject: RE: [cg] CAUTION - Free Compostable Coffee
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com
  • Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 17:45:43 -0500

While you have a point. I ain't as pure as you, and use horse manure from our local commercial stables, orange peels and veggie garbage from local stores and our homes.  And, in NYC, we breathe in so much carbon monoxide from the traffic, keeping pure is really hard.
Now, I do have issues with heavily sprayed leaves but hey, I ain't gonna live forever and neither are you. And after the coffee grinds have had boiling water run through them, the pollutants, if you call it that, are negligable.
However, if you want to be clean, as many of my very more organic than thou friends say, then get your compostables from the local health food store - but those guys will probably charge you.
Also, alot of the Starbucks sell and brew organic coffee. If alot of your friends buy the stuff, then I'm sure a store manager will put an organic bag aside for you. 
Best wishes,
An imperfect man in an imperfect world,
Adam Honigman
-----Original Message-----
From: John Verin [mailto:jverin@Pennhort.org]
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 5:32 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] CAUTION - Free Compostable Coffee

I have just read that when plants are sprayed with chemicals, most of the absorbed chemical goes into the seeds.
So, if you're drinking non-organically grown coffee, guess what? And if you're composting with non-organically grown coffee, unless you already drank the agro-chemicals, you are adding them to your garden.
Now, amounts, etc, can be contested, but none the less....
Be very wary and very conscious about what you are putting in your garden, and choose organic.
And it's not necessarily more expensive. Starbucks brand coffee is negotiably cheaper than most organically grown brands.
Again, the best way to generate compost materials is to grow them yourself. There is much less effort this way, and you know the materials are clean. E.g. corn is a great source of carbon. Harvest your sweet or flour corn, and leave the stalks to go brown in the ground. This will exponentially increase the lignon content of the stalks, which is a key part of making good compost, thus soil structure.
You can learn more about growing your own compost from the book, "How To Grow More Vegetables."

Happy Chemical-Free Gardening!

Paco Verin
Citywide Project Coordinator - Philadelphia Green
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
100 N. 20th St.
Philadelphia, PA  19103

-----Original Message-----
From: Honigman, Adam [mailto:Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 5:21 PM
To: 'community_garden@mallorn.com'
Subject: [cg] Free Compostable Coffee Grounds from Starbucks

I was just talking to a P-Patch community gardener from Seattle who says that his local Starbucks makes coffee grounds available in large quantities gratis to local gardeners at his local outlet. According to my buddy, "In Seattle, they have 5lb.bags ready to go at my local store every day.  The local gardeners keep the special wicker basket from overflowing, it is hard to get more than 2-3 bags at a time."
Now I don't often indulge myself in pricey cups of coffee, but I have to tell you, to get a cupon the run as good as I grind and brew at home is pretty tempting at times instead of the usual "mud in a cup."  Again, according to this guy, "They make a great mulch and green for hot compost."
Maybe it's worth stopping by your local Starbucks, buying a cup of coffee and telling the manager that you were just in Seattle and saw that a few of the stores there put bagged coffee grounds around for local gardeners....Say it's a Corporate Social Responsibility type thing, and they have to pay to have it carted away anyhow....
A thought for a snowy afternoon...
Adam Honigman


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