Join the Team!

We are looking for volunteers to join our team of fun, passionate, and talented shift leaders!

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Beginning March 15th, we will have more open hours at Compost for Brooklyn. We are very excited to offer extended hours, but more hours means we need more volunteers! Below is a description of the shift leader position. If you are interested in signing up, no prior experience is necessary! We can teach you everything you need to know. Just e-mail us at compostforbrooklyn@gmail.com.

If you are unable to commit to a regular volunteer schedule, we always welcome drop-in volunteers during open hours!

Shift Leader Responsibilities:

  • Attend one volunteer orientation
  • Host one shift per month (that’s just 2-3 hours per month!)
  • As a shift leader, you’ll greet composters, provide information for interested neighbors, and help maintain our compost heaps.

Open Hours:

Currently, our open hours are Thursdays, 3:00 to 5:00 pm, and Sundays, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Beginning March 15th, they will be Thursdays 4:30 to 6:30 pm, Saturdays 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, and Sundays 1:00 to 4:00 pm. And as more volunteers sign up to host shifts, we’ll try to add more open hours for the summer (!!).

The Perks:

  • Free Compost for Brooklyn t-shirt
  • Compost for your garden or window plantings
  • Getting to know your awesome neighbors
  • Diverting thousands of pounds of food scraps from landfills
  • Creating black gold that will be used to enliven our city’s soils
  • Helping a small community organization grow
  • And so much more!

 

 

 

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Show Newkirk Avenue some love!

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Join our friends at the Flatbush Farm Share for a Community Meal

For more about Flatbush Farm Share, click here.

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Volunteer Opportunity and a message from Composting Gowanus’ Erik M.

Volunteer with Composting Gowanus this Sunday!

Hola Composters!

So you wonder why composters seem crazy happy all the time?  It’s because we get our high from the pile! Grab a pitchfork, we’re composting this Sunday at the Gowanus salt lot!  It’s been 4 weeks since we last built a pile at the salt lot and we’re ready for more.  Come down and get your fix!  We’ll be processing compostables collected at GrowNYC’s Greenmarkets and with you’re help we’ll keep that material here in NYC for use in our local soil building efforts.

Where: Salt lot @ 2 2nd Ave, 11215
When: Sunday 2/12, noon-4pm

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Winter Herbs Workshop at SALUD!

Join us this Saturday to make your own herbal remedies!

 

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Flatbush Community Garden Winter Fest

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We’re forming a communications team!

Have ideas for how the newsletter could be better? Know of a great place to publicize events? Interested in volunteering? Join C4B’s new communications team! We have a lot of exciting projects going on–graphic design, web, print, you name it–and we need help! The team will meet in the first part February. Email emily.osgood@gmail.com or compostforbrooklyn@gmail.com for more information.

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From the self-improvement desk…

New Year’s Resolutions from Compost for Brooklyn
Did you resolve to waste less in 2012?  We were so inspired by the examples some of our neighbors set in 2011 that we turned them into a list of resolutions anyone can use.
# 1: Start a compost collection collaborative
Colleen Grant recognized that busy New Yorkers may not have the time to make it to a compost drop-off every week, so she organized a youth crew to pick up compostables from residents on each floor of her apartment building. It is now called Project Beekman Compost, and they come to C4B regularly!
What you can do: Share the task of transporting compost to C4B or your local drop-off with your neighbors. Start a collection bucket in your building and coordinate duties.
# 2: Start a worm bin at home
Anna Larson and her roommates compost using a worm bin under their kitchen counter (also known as vermicompost). Says Anna: “After carrying the new worm bin, and tupperware full of worms, home on the back of my bike the first evening three years ago I was super excited to prepare their little newspaper home in the kitchen. The next afternoon, the floor was covered with worms.  We called the “Compost Hotline” (212-477-3155) and they said not to worry, that this often happens when they’re adjusting to a new place, but if you put them back in they will get used to it soon enough.  At this point I felt two things: glad the worms were going to hopefully stay in the bin this time and happy to know that when they stay it is because they really like it.  They are not trapped in there working against their will!”
What you can do: Go to the NYC Compost Project’s worm bin workshop on February 1st to learn how to do this at home.
# 3: Compost at work
Kasia Nikhamina brings food scraps home from work in a reusable container a few days a week, and keeps it in the fridge in between. She also removed the waste bin from her cubicle to remind herself to save the food scraps. Added bonus: She is now more aware of her trash because it requires phsyically getting up to throw things out!
What you can do: If you prefer not to bring scraps home, ask your facilities managers about composting in the office. They can always take advantage Compost for Brooklyn’s services  for help!
# 4: Become a Master Composter!
C4B’s Louise, Kate, Abbe, Colleen, and Nancy are all NYC Master composters, and they LOVED the program.
What you can do: The Brooklyn Master Composter Certificate Course starts soon. Submit your application by February 17!
# 5: Use as much of your produce as you can
Beet greens make a great side dish, vegetable scraps make a delicious stock (for soup). Or like our neighbor and herbalist, Kristy Bredin, you can use your orange peels and egg shells to make herbal remedies (check the C4B websitefor information on an upcoming workshop with Kristy).
# 6 Take a close look at what you throw out
Rachel Schragis saved all of her trash for one year. More info here: (click on “the waste of one year”) http://rachelschragis.com/pages/home.html
What you can do: Consider a symbolic action that would help you think more about your footprint, such as recording everything you throw away for one week. This can help you make more informed decisions about what changes you make (Dishtowels instead of paper towels, reusable water bottles instead of disposable ones, etc.), by giving you information about what waste you’re actually making!
# 7 Become a shift leader for Compost for Brooklyn
Have fun with other volunteers while keeping the project doing what we do best! Email compostforbrooklyn@gmail.com if you are interested.
# 8 Get to know your local composters
Here are a few we know, but there are many more. If you know a composting project we haven’t listed, let us know!
Western Queens Compost Initiative (Queens)
Lower East Side Ecology Center (Lower East Side and Union Square)
Added Value (Red Hook)
6/15 (Park Slope)
GrowNYC (Many locations)
Gowanus Canal Conservancy (Gowanus)
Sustainable Flatbush (Flatbush)
Vokashi (Many locations)
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From the Locavore…

Sustainable Sides
By Suzanne Cope

After the first frost, when some farmer’s markets shut down for the season, and the taste of fresh corn and vine-ripe tomatoes seem like a lifetime away, it might seem as if there is little alternative to shopping the big grocery stores for produce trucked or flown in from across the continent – or further – away. However, in the fall, there are sustainable, local veggies that can be found at one of the year-round green markets and stored throughout the winter to be turned into side dishes so delicious that you will forget that the first big snow storm is just around the corner.

Sweet potatoes are a fine storage tuber that can be kept in a cool room or basement (around 55 degrees) for a month or more. These can be served countless ways: sauté-ed with eggs, baked whole or roasted with other root vegetables. However, if you have a little extra time, consider making the Savory Sweet Potato Crumble (recipe below) that uses caramelized onions and bacon fat in place of a in a traditional sweet fruit crumble.

Brussels sprouts are another vegetable that can last through a milder early winter. A bite-sized cousin of cabbage, these vegetables taste best after a frost – which makes them ideal for a winter side dish when you find them. They also freeze well and can last a few weeks stored, with their outer leaves left on, in a paper bag or uncovered bowl at around 35 degrees. Easy to slice and pan fry or roast, brussels sprouts can be gussied up with a quick toss with olive oil and parmesan cheese (recipe below).

Finally, beets are an amazing source of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C and come in a rainbow of beautiful colors and patterns, from golden to deep red to the painterly pink and white stripes of the chiogga variety. These root vegetables are dense and easy to store in the fridge for up to a month or in a 32 – 36 degree root cellar for a few months – just remove their greens first (and sauté them up and eat them!). Excellent steamed or roasted, a more unique use of this root is to grate it into orzo while cooking to add a sweet earthiness to an otherwise run of the mill pasta dish.

Dressed up for Sunday dinner with friends or family – or whipped up for any Tuesday night in front of the television – these sustainable sides are a great way to eat locally grown vegetables while snow is on the ground.

Recipes:

Sweet Potato Crumble

8 c chopped sweet potatoes (about 3)
1 c caramelized onions
½ lb chopped cooked bacon
2 T chopped fresh sage

topping:
1 c bread crumbs
1 c fat (suggestion: half bacon fat, half softened butter)
1 c chopped walnuts
½ lb chopped cooked bacon
¼ c maple syrup or brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine sweet potatoes, onions, ½ pound of bacon, sage and salt & pepper into a baking pan.
Combine all topping ingredients and mix until it resembles large crumbles. Spread evenly over the contents of the baking pan, cover with foil.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Take off the foil and bake another 20, or until the topping is lightly browned and the sweet potatoes are cooked through.

Brussels Sprouts Tossed with Parmesan
5 cups of brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
½ c grated parmesan, asagio or pecorino cheese
½ t each dried oregano & dried basil
1 T olive oil (or to taste)
salt & pepper to taste

Place the brussels sprouts in a covered pan or baking dish with half cup of water and roast at 350 degrees.
After 10 minutes remove the top or foil and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Remove from oven after twenty minutes or when lightly browned.
Let cool for 10 – 15 minutes, or until a bit warmer than room temperature.
Combine cheese and herbs. Toss with the cooked brussels sprouts and serve immediately.

Beet Orzo
1 medium beet, grated. (The darker the beet, the more beautiful the color of the final dish.)
2/3 c dried orzo
half cup crumbled feta cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Add the grated beet and 1 ¾ cup water to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. When at a rolling boil, add the orzo and simmer, uncovered, until the pasta and beet are just cooked through. Add more water one tablespoon at a time if needed to fully cook the pasta, and drain excess liquid if the pasta cooks faster than the water evaporates.  This will depend on your pasta and cooking temperature.

When done, top immediately with crumbled feta and serve.

Chopped dill or a drizzle of pesto would also be a great addition to this dish!

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Bring us your leaves this Sunday!

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