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A Compost-y Thank You List

photoYesterday, while out on our last bucket slinging session of 2014, we reminisced about the year that was. It was by far our best season of bike-powered community composting ever. We have a lot to be thankful for. Here’s our Compost-y Thank You list in no particular order:

Traverse City is a community full of radness. We’re thankful to be a part of it. Happy Thanksgiving and Compost On!

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Time To Make The Compost, Traverse City.


It’s time, Traverse City. Time to make the compost. The leaves are continuing to fall as we type and are begging (yes, begging!) to be sent home in your backyard pile. Follow these simple steps to put those Traverse City leaves to work and grow lots of Traverse City Dirt.

1. First. Go ride your bike. It will make you happy.

2. When you get home from your ride, grab a rake and mound up a huge heap of leaves next to your compost pile. Don’t have a backyard pile? We can help you find pallets to build a box which works great but you have to promise to share it with a neighbor 😉

3. Collect your kitchen scraps (Greens). Meat and dairy are no-no’s. Dump your scraps into your pile and then cover them up with an arm full of leaves (Browns). 1 part neighborhood Greens + 3 parts neighborhood Browns = Awesome neighborhood compost.

4. Keep layering like a lasagna. Greens. Browns. Greens. Browns. Keep going until you have a massive heap of organic waste. The bigger, the better. Helps it heat up (thanks, Mr. Microbe!) before winter arrives.

Not enough Greens in the kitchen? We can help with that too with our Save The Coffee Grounds project. We think coffee grounds make the best Greens, no offense Banana Peels. Read more on that HERE.

5. Rake up more leaves and stash them under your spruce tree. This will keep them from getting buried under the soon-to-be-arriving snow. Trust us, come February, you’ll be glad you did. If you’re feeling super-special nice, you can bag/deliver some leaves for us as part of our #Leaves4Carter program.

6. Go for another bike ride. Free happiness.

7. In spring, harvest your neighborhood compost and use it to grow neighborhood food in your backyard.

8. Give yourself a pat on the back for being a Compost Champion and helping to green our Traverse City.

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Save The Coffee Grounds: A Traverse City Dirt Project


Here at C’sC World HQ, we believe that if there’s one thing that should definitely NOT go into the landfill, it’s coffee grounds. They’re just too valuable. A fantastic source of Nitrogen. Plus they smell super good!

Save The Coffee Grounds is a Traverse City Dirt community project where we are partnering with neighborhood coffee shops to grow more neighborhood compost. More TC Dirt.

We are currently helping Brew, Cuppa Joe Drive-Thru, Horizon Books and Morsels compost/recycle/de-landfill ALL of their coffee grounds. That’s a lot of coffee grounds! But, we’re dreaming big and not stopping there. We hope to one day save ALL of the coffee grounds from ALL of TC’s coffee shops. To achieve that goal, we need your help.


1. We will use our bike trailers to transport the buckets of coffee grounds from coffee shops to C’sC World HQ. You will come to the alley (841 Washington) to pick-up the coffee grounds. Buckets also available behind Brew and Cuppa Joe Drive-Thru  on 8th..

2. Take as many buckets as you want and dump them into your backyard pile. If you don’t have a pile we can help find you some pallets to build one but you have to promise to share it with your neighbor 😉

3. Harvest a bunch leaves from your neighborhoods trees (they’re starting to fall as we type!) to mix in with the grounds. Maples leaves are best. No offense, Mr. Oak tree. If you have extra leaves, maybe you can bag some up and share with us? Read more on our #Leaves4Carter program HERE.

4. Return the empty buckets to C’sC World HQ/Brew/Cuppa Joe and grab more coffee grounds if needed.

5. Build a big heap of leaves and coffee grounds (and other kitchen scraps too) so that come spring, you will have lots of compost to use in your garden.

6. Give yourself a pat on the back for being a Compost Champion and helping to support a greener, more awesome Traverse City.

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Worms To Classrooms


We love our worms. They are the VIPs of Carter’s Compost. They eat kitchen scraps day in – day out and never complain.

We have a lot of worms. We started with 1000 red wigglers in 2006 and now have at least a trillion or so 😉 We keep them in 17 (and counting!) storage totes that we re-purposed into worm bins. From May to November, they all live in our garage here at C’sC World HQ. They help us by turning our member’s organic waste into black gold which we use in our Urban Farm. Normally, come winter, we haul them all down to the basement where they spend 5 dark, less-than-awesome months. Not this year. After 8 years, mom’s tired of them in the basement. Therefore, we are launching a new community project, Worms To Classrooms, in which we are partnering with Traverse City teachers to host one of our worm bins for the winter.

Worms are easy. They’re fun. The kids will love them and learn lots, too.


1. Sign up for a worm bin by emailing us at The worms will be loaned out in a first come-first served basis. Again, we have about 17 at the moment.

2. Come to C’sC World HQ sometime before 11/15 to pick up your worm bin.

3. Put the worm bin in your classroom. Take care of them. Feed them. Love them.

4. Teach the kids about the awesomeness of composting and the importance of reducing your foodwaste.Teach them that worms are Compost Champions and that banana peels (and all other organic waste from home/school) don’t belong in the landfill.

5. Once school gets out, return the bin to C’sC World HQ.

6. Give yourself a High Five for supporting bike-powered community composting in Traverse City and making mom super happy.

Learn some wormy pro-tips:


Wormy lessons for teachers:

Do the Rot Thing Decomposition Lessons

Worm Life Cycle Cut Outs

98 Worm Bin Activities

Worm Anatomy Diagram and Questions

Worm Anatomy from Do the Rot Thing

Worms Eat Our Garbage Worksheets from Trina Ball

Worm Bin Troubleshooting

The Worm Guide for Teachers from CalRecycle

If you would like to purchase some of our worms for your very own, you can do that too. More info HERE.

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Putting the FUN in Fungi : Grand Traverse Mycological Society and The Radical Mycology Tour


The Grand Traverse Mycological Society is hosting the Radical Mycology Collective’s Tour for a 2-day Mushroom Cultivation and Application Course in Traverse City, September 27-28.

The course will finish with a hands-on, collaborative mushroom installation here at Carter’s Compost World HQ. The plan is to innoculate new mushroom beds around 2-3 of our Apple Trees using Oyster and King Stropharia. Our Mirror-Mirror Pile will also be inoculated with Shaggy Mane mushrooms. Compost and Mushrooms. Like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Awesome, right?

In addition, The GT Mycological Society will be hosting a kids workshop in the Carter’s Compost Urban Farm Sunday, September 28, at 2 pm.

Putting the FUN in Fungi:

What do mushrooms eat?
What does it mean to be a decomposer?
How can we work with mushrooms to clean water and soil?
Come find out through a hands-on activity where we will make mushroom growing kits that you can take home!

Join us as we play games, act out ecological roles and explore the amazing world of forest fungi. Expect a 1 hour workshop. Perfect for kids aged 7-13. Donation based to help cover costs, suggested $10, however no one turned away for lack of funds. There are only 10 openings so please reserve your spot by emailing us at

To learn more about The Grand Traverse Mycological Socitey and their mission of providing people with the resources necessary to learn and explore the fungal kingdom email

Register for the Cultivation and Application Course HERE.

As always, please, Compost On!

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C’sC + MYOI : Youth-Driven Community Composting


We’ve been fortunate to partner with the crew from Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative (MYOI) on several occasions. Last year’s Neighborhood Compost Fiesta, July’s Community Compost Screening Work-bee at Oryana and a recent bike-powered bucket slinging session. They are a great group of young people. Eager to learn. Hard working. True compost champions.

Together we rode bikes, picked-up our neighbor’s kitchen scraps, screened Traverse City dirt, grew community compost and greened our neighborhoods. We talked about C’sC and our vision of small-scale, bike-powered, youth-driven community composting. We shared our start-up story of re-using/re-purposing/re-loving things (bike trailers, buckets, pallets, organic waste) to launch our social-entrepreneur-ish business. We encouraged them to become involved in their community and seize opportunities.

Carter’s Compost is definitely looking forward to more collaborations in the future.

Keep awesome, MYOI, and Compost On!

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CSA By Bike


In partnership with NORTE! and awesome local farmers like Birch Point Farm and Meadowlark, we are now providing bike-powered home delivery of your CSA Box.

For just $5/delivery, we’ll pedal your box from the drop-site to your house using our cargo bike trailers. Perfect for those Traverse City CSA members who can’t fit a drop-site pickup into their busy schedules. You can sign up for the entire season or simply request a delivery on an as needed basis (24 hour notice required). And for just $3 more per week, we’ll get you a C’sC Bucket and pick up your kitchen scraps too. Full circle. Awesome, right? More info HERE on how that works.


Supporting CSA By Bike means one less car on the streets of Traverse City, a smaller carbon footprint for our community, green jobs for our riders, and more time for you.


Before signing up, make sure you live within the blue boundary shown on the map below.


If you live close by but not exactly within these boundaries, please get in touch with us to see if we can work something out -email

Fill out the form to sign up:


$5 per CSA box delivery. $3 per compost bucket pick-up. We accept cash, checks to Carter’s Compost, Bay Bucks and PayPal. You can pay per delivery/month/season and stop whenever.

We are now looking for more CSA farmers with Traverse City drop-sites to partner with. If interested email us at to get started.

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Compost Drop-Off @ Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market


Starting this Saturday, June 7th, we’ll be offering kitchen scrap drop-off for the Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market goers. We’ll be bringing our bike-powered Mobile Compost Pile to transport your scraps from the market to C’sC World HQ or one of our Neighborhood Sharing Stations. This is a pilot project for the month of June to test it out.

Here’s How It Works:

1. Come to the market. Shop local. Buy local. Eat local. We’ll by near Norte! TC’s Bike Valet on the west side of the market by the SEEDS Office (aka “The Birdhouse”). Maybe you can even come by bike? That’d be awesome.

2. Bring your bucket full of kitchen scraps to the market.

What can go into the bucket? Well, most everything that grows is OK.

“If is grows, it goes!”

Fruit and vegetable scraps, non-greasy food scraps like rice, pasta, bread,
cereal etc., coffee grounds & filters, tea bags (staples OK), egg and nut shells, pits.

Please NO meat, dairy, bones, chicken, fish, greasy food scraps, fat, oil, dairy, animal waste, litter or bedding, coal or charcoal, coconuts, yard waste.

3. Grab a clean bucket and lid off the bike trailer.

4. Buy lots of yummy/healthy/local veggies and fruits from the market and start filling up your bucket again with scraps. Come back the following Saturday to drop-off and grab a clean bucket. If you can line the bucket with a regular grocery store paper bag (keeps the bucket scrubbing to a minimum) before adding to it, that’d be fantastic!

Feel free to email us at with more questions.

Cost? Because we love our Downtown Farmer’s Market, drop-offs will be by donation only during this pilot period.

Compost On! and we’ll see you Saturday.

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May. So far. So good.


How’s your May going? Our’s has been killer. It’s only half way done and May is already been the most awesome month of the year. So far. So good.

A recap:

– Crushed our Bike-powered Community Kickstarter Project. We raised almost $4200 via 70 backers from all over the planet. We’re super excited about our new cargo trailers and the Traverse City Dirt Tshirt.

National Compost Awareness Week rocked. Signed up/renewed 14 members who’ve committed to being Compost Champions. Screened 15 buckets of our 100% awesome locally grown compost during our Neighborhood Dirt Party. And added another “pile sharer” to our map.

– Scored a $1000 grant from the wonderful people at So Delcious. We won there #140Difference contest with this tweet:

Bike-Powered, Youth-Driven Community Composting: Compost Boys (or Girls!) slinging buckets to green our #tcmi neighborhoods. #140Difference

We will be using this money to expand our bicycle cargo trailer fleet as we aim to get more trailers to more kids in more TC neighborhoods.

– Enter the crew from Gainesville Compost and Kanner Karts. We’re teaming up with them to bring 3, yes 3!, of their awesome PRO trailers to Northern Michigan. They will be our Big Boy (or Girl!) trailers and allow us to Dream Big as we expand our bike-powered, community bucket slinging operation here in Traverse City.

– Inked deals with some awesome Sponsors. If you see any of them around town make sure to give them a High Five for supporting C’sC and helping us to green our TC.

Thanks for reading and Compost On!

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Happy Compost Awareness Week !


International Compost Awareness Week (also known simply as The Awesome Week) is upon us. It runs May 5 – 12.

It’s a big, big week for us.

Neighborhood Fiestas.
Rotting Organic Waste.

Sounds like fun, eh? They don’t call it The Awesome Week for nothing.

Here’s the Scoop:

1. Take the C’sC Promise and commit to being a Compost Champion.

2. Collect your kitchen scraps. Start a pile. Pick some red wigglers and build a worm bin. Or sign up for our bike-powered pick-ups and get a Free Bucket.

3. Inspire your mom/dad/sister/bus driver/neighbor/bank teller/ co-worker/librarian to take the C’sC Promise and become a Compost Champion too.

4. Join us on Saturday, May 10, 2-4pm, at C’sC World HQ for a Neighborhood Fiesta. We’ll screen dirt, wrangle worms and listen to latin music together. Take some of the dirt that you screened home and use it in your garden. Growing neighborhood food with neighborhood compost made from neighborhood kitchen scraps is awesome.

Our C’sC College of Compostology will also be in session so if you want to learn how to compost in your own backyard, we’ll be giving tours/demos.

It’s going to be awesome. You should come. Bring your garden gloves and your smiley face.

See you soon and Compost On!