The Compost Crew

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Collect, Compost, Cultivate. That’s the idea behind the Compost Crew. They want to change your waste practices. They want to teach you how to support the organic waste movement. And at Bethesda Central Farm Market, they are starting a free composting program that will encourage children to compost in their homes! The CompostKIDS Program will begin at Bethesda Central Farm Market this weekend!

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The Compost Crew got its start in May of 2011. Co-founders Ryan Walter and Brian Flores, friends since kindergarten, decided that they wanted to grow food in “untraditional environments,” but they needed good soil to do so. Brian wanted to do more to make this rich, fertile soil available to others. His friends motivated him to create his own company, and the Compost Crew was born.

The pair decided they would launch the company once they had 15 customers. Between May and December of 2011, they acquired at least one new customer per month. In the Spring of 2012, the pair made a deal with the community of Somerset, which helped them secure 25+ new customers. Ryan worked on the website and communications, while Brian was in charge of collecting.

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In the early days, the Crew had a partnership with growingSOUL, where they could drop off their compost for a small “tipping fee.” Soon, they were in local farm markets on weekends, starting relationships with small communities, and consulting with larger towns to become a municipal service. In 2014, they went from 250 customers to nearly 1200 due to their partnerships with Chevy Chase and Takoma Park. They have been servicing these homes ever since.

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The development is moving along, but they are still missing a part of the puzzle that the guys find very important. Sure, they are collecting compost. And yes, they’re distributing the waste to a place where it could be sustainably taken care of. But Ryan and Brian want to complete the process – they want to cultivate the soil into a product that they can distribute and that could be used to restart the whole process again. They want to put their collected compost right back into the earth to create a network of farms to “close the loop” in the composting model. This is the next step for The Compost Crew.

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Starting on Sunday April 26, and continuing through Sunday, October 25, 2015, kids ages up to 12 will be able to join in the fun. This program will be available at only at Bethesda Central Farm Market. Learn more about how the program works.

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