Austin City, No Limits

This makes my month: the Austin Farmer’s Market is now accepting compost from individuals partly because of this humble blog.

Farmers selling at Texas’ largest growers-only market have long donated unsold edibles to soup kitchens and courtesy of Austin Farmer's Marketcomposted the remains. Since last Saturday, though, shoppers can bring their household food waste to the market.

This makes sense for the same reason as farmer’s markets themselves–providing ecologically sound food solutions for urban dwellers lacking land to grow and/or compost their food.

So how did this come about? Last week I spoke with the Addie Broyles, the food writer at the Austin American-Statesman writing a piece on food waste. After reading my post about how folks can export their household scraps to the Union Square Green Market, which has collected compost since 1990(!), Broyles passed that tidbit along to Susan Leibrock at the Sustainable Food Center, which runs the Austin Farmer’s Market.

Fast forward two weeks and the market had set up a collection bin. Leibrock was unsure if customers would take them up on the offer, which was passed along through the farmer’s market newsletter. Sure enough, two shoppers came up to Leibrock early in the morning wondering where they could dump their plastic containers of food waste.

By the end of Saturday, Austin Farmer’s Market shoppers had filled a 55-gallon trash can with compost. That’s 55 gallons of food that otherwise would have gone to the landfill.

This entry was posted in Composting, Farmers' Market, Waste Stream. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted January 6, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    This Austinite thanks you! (Though they can’t have _my_ compostables; I need them.)


  2. Posted January 6, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Nice work, Jonathan. I’m from Austin and love the Farmer’s Market. Glad to see that you could have an influence on the sustainable habits of my fellow Austinites through the Farmer’s Market.

  3. Emily
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    hey, cool! Good job, Jon. That’s awesome. You should put together an info sheet that all us readers could email / hand to our local Farmer’s Market organizers. This could spread like wildfire.

  4. Posted January 7, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Sweet! And how rewarding for you!

  5. andrew
    Posted April 3, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    hey there,

    I am looking to reconnect with a fellow who I worked with at Sambuca in Dallas who has the same name as you. If you are him drop me a line sometime.


  6. Posted April 3, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, Andrew–I’m not that guy.

One Trackback

  1. [...] 2. Whether or not your college or¬†university has a campus-wide program, Campus Kitchens can compost! Creative students at McGill University in Toronto developed their own volunteer program called Gorilla Composting, where they collect and redistribute waste from Dining Services. Also, if you develop the capacity to finish your own compost, then there are always places to donate it. At Lafayette, for example, they donate it to the community garden, and inAustin, farmer’s markets collect compost. [...]

  • Buy the Book