Straub’s Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice is a sweet and coveted customer favorite, but you may not yet know its contributions to sustainability in our community. Every year, 33 tons of oranges are squeezed by our Produce professionals. 100% of those rinds are collected in organic waste bins along with our other produce trimmings. These bins are sent to a facility that collects local leaves and other forms of organic, carbon-rich “brown waste.” The trimmings, or “green waste,” are added to the brown organics and they are composted together to create the local compost available from the Missouri Botanical Garden. The next time you take a sip of Straub’s Fresh OJ, you can feel even better about what you are drinking.
Why use compost?
Compost adds nutrients and micronutrients to the soil and boosts plant growth and yields. Nutrients are released at a rate related to the plant’s needs, depending on the temperature and available moisture.
Compost binds with soil improving its texture and structure. Healthy soil organically sustains your plants, providing better moisture, oxygen for root growth and improved drainage. It increases the soil’s capacity to hold 200 percent of its dry weight in water.
Composting attracts nature’s soil builders in the form of earthworms and friendly insects that rejuvenate the soil and increase plant growth. It also helps balance the pH in the soil and acts like a buffer making plants more resilient and less dependent on specific pH levels. In addition to its buffer duties, compost performs similarly to mulch and helps prevent weeds from creeping into your garden.
Organic composting materials
A basic guide to achieve composing benefits is to build your compost from two parts carbon-rich “browns” for every one part nitrogen-rich “greens.” Materials included must be biodegradable and contain nutrients that are available and usable to microorganisms. Examples of organic compost matter includes pond algae, wood ashes, coffee grounds, feathers, organic kitchen garbage—except grease, oil and animal fats—, dry dog food, eggshells, flowers, grass clippings, produce trimmings, old newspaper, leaves, weeds, and kelp. There are many more!
Learn more about composting from National Geographic!