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Filbert Street Garden Composts Food Waste Into 'Black Gold' To Grow Produce For Community

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Now that spring has sprung, gardens are going to start growing, and for one Curtis Bay neighborhood, it can't come soon enough.

Every Sunday morning, Federal Hill residents drop off their compost with Marvin Hayes and he brings it to the Filbert Street Garden, also known as the Wakanda of South Baltimore.

"We pick up food scraps from Mount Washington, Federal Hill, Riverside, Locust Point and we bring it back to the Filbert Street Garden and we process it in a form called composting," Hayes said.

Diverting four to five hundred pounds of trash every week, after four months, the food waste turns into what Hayes calls black gold.

"This is black leaf gold, and when you have healthy soil you have healthy vegetables," Hayes said.

The black gold gets put into farming beds to grow fruits and vegetables.

"This garden provides food for families and children in this area that otherwise may not be able to get fresh vegetables," said John Miller, volunteer community gardener and Curtis Bay resident.

Like Valerie Clark, who lives across the street.

"Every spring, I receive tomatoes, blueberries, oh the blueberries are so delicious and sweet!" Clark said.

And Marvin hopes to teach as many Baltimoreans about composting as he can, to encourage other gardens to grow.

"We're gonna compost and we're gonna learn so we don't have to burn this food waste that it can be turned into black gold soil enhancer and we'll then, in turn, feed the soil, and then we can feed the community," he said.

If you have compost and you want to join the collective, they're accepting new members! Check it out here and learn more about composting in Baltimore here.

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