On May 22, 2021, we had the opportunity to help restore the garden at the Canton branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD, through our Growing Together program. This program is a way for us to put a valuable resource — the manure produced by Nature’s Yoke Certified Humane free-range hens — to great use in a planet- and community-supporting way.
Specifically, we transformed our free-range hens’ manure into a high-quality, organic compost which can prevent soil erosion, assist in stormwater management, promote healthier plant growth, reduce waste, combat climate change, improve soil health and much more.
There are a wide variety of benefits of using compost. The compost we produced for the Growing Together donation to the library’s community garden will improve soil health by supplying microbes and nutrients, increase the moisture holding capacity of the soil, buffer the soil pH and create a better plant root environment.
To turn our free-range hens’ manure into useful, high-quality compost for home gardeners, landscapers, park managers and organic farmers, we collected and sent it to one of our favorite compost facilities, Oregon Dairy’s Organic/Compost Facility. You can learn more about Oregon Dairy’s Organic/Compost Program here.
Interestingly organic compost can also save money thanks to reduced maintenance costs and, more importantly, it eliminates the need to use harmful chemicals that pollute treasured bodies of water like the Chesapeake Bay.
Equally important, our Growing Together compost donation was a way to bring people together around a common goal.
Friends of the Canton Library generously welcomed our donation, and this event brought the community together to do something that really matters. Not only for the library in helping their gardens thrive, but also for supporting a healthier water system and environment overall.
Feeding the soil organically versus chemically is just one way to make a difference as stewards of our land, and you can do it even in your own garden.
After all, soil is full of living organisms. It has good nutrients, good bacteria and it does so much for our plants. By composting, we are essentially re-feeding the soil so it can, in turn, feed the plants in a healthy way. Quite simply, it’s a sustainable, easy and natural way we can make our home gardens and communities better.
As the native, local plants grow and bloom in the library’s garden this spring, they will attract bees and birds creating a verdant ecosystem.
Friends of Canton Library generously welcomed our donation of organic compost and the event gave us a chance to make new friends, and we are grateful to have met all the volunteers who made this day possible. Plus, have a chance to talk with them about the benefits of organic compost and how what we put into our gardens impacts not only what grows there, but also the planet as a whole, including the water supply.
Again, in this case, protecting the mid-Atlantic’s Chesapeake Bay from the toxic run-off that’s created when chemicals are used to treat local gardens, rather than organic materials.
Our gratitude to Jacki Gilbert, president of Friends of Canton Library, and the volunteers from the Kiwanis Club of Canton-Fells Point, Maryland Church on the Square, Healthy Harbor and Canton Canopy for being there on the 22nd ready to spread some (not so great smelling) compost and do something that matters for creating a healthy community garden.
We celebrate your hard work and thank you for becoming part of our family!