The MFF Closed-Loop Compost Initiative seeks to produce enough compost to apply to 20 acres of land (one application per season for one year), and to increase compost production to support up to 100 acres in the coming years. By producing more compost, MFF will reduce on-farm waste and convert it into soil amendments. More frequent applications of compost into the field environment will not only stabilize the long-term health of the soil ecosystem, but will also address the realities that accompany a changing climate through expanded water retention and plant health. Streamlining the compost production will also contribute to increased food security as participating farms will no longer depend on costly field amendments imported from outside.
One objective of MFF’s Closed-Loop Compost Initiative is to enhance community partnerships and reduce excess food waste in local food systems. They plan to solidify partnerships with three community agriculturalists in the coming year, and receive a minimum of ten deliveries of green and brown materials per year. Their ultimate goal is an established composting process that allows for a minimum of 1,500 yards of compost per year (to cover five acres at a depth of 2 inches).
MFF Collective farms, including Carranza Family Farms, Living Systems Farm, Baby Root Farms, Exit Central Farm, and McGrath Farm, will contribute green material to the Initiative and receive the final compost product for use in their individual operations. Local arborists including Jorge Salinas Tree Service, The Tree Guy, and West Coast Arborists, Inc. will contribute brown material in the form of leftover tree material to support the program.
MFF will oversee the compost piles’ temperature with thermometers and, given the lack of rain in Southern California, they’ve set up an overhead irrigation system to mist the piles if necessary. The irrigation system is connected to a pressurized water line.
MFF is dedicated to decreasing the barriers that confront young farmers, and BIPOC and/or gender-underrepresented individuals who are interested in familiarizing themselves with the local food system as consumers or growers. MFF provides an opportunity for the general public to encounter the complexities, joys, and realities of Ventura County agriculture while functioning as an incubator for fresh faces striving to succeed as farmers. MFF also fosters many mentor/apprentice relationships, offering varying levels of hands-on training for individuals to learn and eventually teach the technical skills necessary for regenerative cultivation positions. The MFF Closed-Loop Composting Initiative has the capacity to become a foundational piece of the educational offerings of the MFF collective, whether through field trips for elementary-aged students or as a six-month intensive soil health internship for adults.