Compost sale at Thimble Farm this Earth Day

IGI celebrates Island Food Rescue pilot program.

Sophie Abrams Mazza (left) and Eunice Youmans with Island Grown Initiative's new composter. – Brittany Bowker
Compost! Black Gold!
–Brittany Bowker

Earth Day is Monday, April 22, and Island Grown Initiative (IGI) is selling 200 yards of locally collected and cured compost at Thimble Farm from 8 am to 6 pm. The rich, chemical-free “black gold” is made from leaves, grass, local manure, and Island food waste collected from IGI’s pilot program, Island Food Rescue.

Island Food Rescue began collecting food waste from local restaurants like Linda Jean’s, Waterside, and Park Corner in 2016. The program started collecting food waste at select transfer stations last summer, and recently secured all six Island transfer stations. Now, anyone who wants to compost can, and IGI will do all the heavy lifting — literally.

The Island nonprofit recently purchased a “new-ish” food waste dump truck and an in-vessel composter, which will speed up the composting process, according to Sophie Abrams, food equity and recovery director. Aaron Lowe takes the truck around to participating business three times a week. “This makes everything easier,” Lowe said. “You can get a lot more done in a day.”

The in-vessel composter is still being wired and welded, but should be up and running by the end of May, according to Abrams.

Monday’s sale includes 40-pound bags of compost for $12.95, or loaded by the yard into a pickup truck for $60 per yard. Local checks, cash, or credit card are accepted. For more information, contact Island Grown Initiative at 508-687-9062, or visit


  1. “Compost sale”??? I think it bears mentioning that identical 40lb bags of organic manure/compost are listed at area Lowe’s for $4.28 But buy local!

    • Wait… are you saying things cost less when you buy them at big department stores offisland?? What a fascinating concept!

      • I am saying that when you have a “sale” of compost for $12.95 a bag, when it can be found elsewhere for $4.28, in the very same newspaper where an article describes hundreds lined up for free food outside of a food bank from necessity, that not only is it insensitive but indeed a “fascinating concept”.
        If IGI really wants to perform community minded acts, perhaps it should rethink its business model.

        • Well, James, it’s a business model that works for Cronig’s. Some people will buy it, some won’t. Cronig’s has distilled water for $2.59 a gallon, offering only Poland Springs brand. Walmart had a different brand of distilled water for 88 cents a gallon. (Stop and Shop sells it for $1.09 a gallon but the strike closed the VH store.) Distilled water is necessary for medical devices that require humidification, so in my opinion, it is insensitive, but a fascinating concept to take financial advantage of people in medical need. It’s whatever the market will bear and islanders are a captive and naive audience. I agree, the high price of the compost is just wrong, as is the high island price of distilled water at a big grocery market. The good news is we don’t have to buy any of it.

  2. You can already buy compost bins here. You can also buy butter churners, yarn to knit sweaters, and chicken coops. Why purchase anyone else’s eggs? 😉

    • Its very easy to make compost without a bin. A properly made pile turned over once after a few weeks will make a nice clean no-odor compost ready to use. Using garden vegetative waste, weeds, lawn trimmings, and leaves, properly layered using grass clippings as a catalyst between layers, lightly watered is a simple proven way. Turning the pile perhaps once with another light spray of water, and it will yield nice usable clean compost. If you plan on using kitchen waste such as eggshells that attract skunks and rats, then a bin is required.

      • Great, I’ll do that… after I finish churning my butter, knitting my sweaters, and chasing off all the skunks, raccoons, deer, rabbits, voles, crows, and rats. Composting isn’t for everyone.

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