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Re: Coffee Chaff

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Coffee Chaff
  • From: "Children'S Gardening Program" kidsgrow@toronto.ca
  • Date: Mon, 05 May 2003 13:45:29 -0400
  • Content-disposition: inline

Hi  Corrie,  

Our garden has been getting coffee bean chaff, burlap and used grounds from a local fair trade/organic roastery and cafe, Alternative Grounds, for over four years for our composters.   

We were worried that the grounds and chaff would create overly acidic finished compost (and hence soil) but when we have tested the pH, it has generally been okay.    We do balance it out with other materials though, including straw, leaves and some egg shells.   The used grounds seem to be a wonderful compost accelerator and help create high compost temperatures (again a balance is needed to keep the pH from getting too acidic and you need carbon materials to balance the nitrogen in the grounds).  We use the burlap on top of the compost to keep the moisture in and it would make a great mulch.

The only problem with using the chaff as a mulch is that it tends to create a thick mat after getting wet which can keep oxygen from getting through to the soil (and plant roots).  I think though, that as long as the chaff is cultivated occasionally after a heavy rain, this problem would be minimal.  

I encourage gardeners to take advantage of this wonderful "waste" material.  We have found that the relationship with the local roastery has been great.  

Keely Forth
Children's Garden Program
Parks and Recreation, City of Toronto

>>> "Corrie Zoll" <czoll@greeninstitute.org> 05/05/03 12:04pm >>>
I am wondering if any of you have experience with using coffee chaff as
mulch in your gardens.

A fair trade organic coffee roaster (www.peacecoffee.com) just moved
into my office building and I have access to an ongoing supply of burlap
and coffee chaff. 

I have been spreading the word about the chaff and burlap among
community gardeners.  Gardeners are interested, but are wary of putting
coffee chaff in their gardens without knowing what affect it will have.

Any experiences you can share would be helpful.  I'll take creative
suggestions for using burlap as well.

Corrie Zoll
Minneapolis


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______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





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