Virginia Dept. Of Corrections Uses Earth Flow To Grow Tomatoes In Winter

Virginia Dept. Of Corrections Uses Earth Flow To Grow Tomatoes In Winter

Virginia Department of Correction (VADOC) is using an Earth Flow In-Vessel composting system for food waste composting at the White Post Men’s Diversion Center. White Post operates an innovative vocational training program for their inmates to learn job skills in agriculture and sustainability.

White Post is using compost from the Earth Flow to provide soil amendments for their greenhouse growing operation. Though there is snow and ice on the ground in February, this image shows the 3-week old tomato plants growing in the green house. VADOC personnel have found that the fastest growing tomato plants were amended with a 50%-50% mix of Earth Flow compost and soil.

White Post is using an EF-16 Earth Flow composting system with a footprint of 16’ x 8’. The EF-16 can receive up to 0.5 tons of total feedstocks per day. White Post is composting food waste from the prison, green waste, horse manure and bedding. This system composts food waste for
about 100 inmates (3 meals/day) and 15 staff (1 meal/day).

VADOC staff collect the food waste in the kitchens in rolling toters. An automated tote tipper is used to mechanically load the food waste into the Earth Flow vessel.

The sustainability coordinator said this about the compost produced by the Earth Flow: “I never thought I would say this about compost, but it is gorgeous. It smells great. It looks beautiful.”

One of the officer in charge added: “It’s simple, it’s perfect. I’m just getting started with managing the Earth Flow. This system makes it easy to compost. You don’t need to know a lot about composting to be successful with this system.”

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