Our hardy team of intrepid volunteers and our esteemed leader, Kim Doyle Wille, of Growing Empowerment built a “keyhole garden” on Saturday.

The “big idea” of a keyhole garden is to combine the planting and composting parts of a garden into one holding moisture and nutrients in place.  The idea originates in Africa is being adapted by many gardeners in hot, arid climates.  The Pitkin Couty landfill garden certainly qualifies!

Ours is made of materials diverted from the landfill and will use our compost (available for sale.)  Eventually the produce we raise will be donated to LIFT UP.



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Mushroom Foray

We held our 3rd Annual Mushroom Lecture and Foray on Saturday. You may have missed it but 13 others didn’t. We learned about the importance of fungi, microbes and other micro creatures in producing compost and their part in a healthy eco-system. We have bags of our “SCRAPS” brand of compost and potting soil are available for purchase at the landfill. Foray Hilary lecture right side up

Hats off to Edeltraud Lyons!

Edeltraud Lyons, 73, made two Self Wicking Raised Garden Beds after attending our Living Lab Workshop this spring.  Each is made from re-purposed pallets diverted from the landfill, and uses Pitco Products–Compost, Potting Soil and gravel.  Good work!

Edeltraud raised bed 2

Edeltraud raised bed 1

Living Lab Workshop–Mission

We offer the Living Lab Workshops in the spring and fall of each year.  Most are hands on demonstrations and talks meant to show how our compost program at the landfill “closes the loop.”  This phrase is used in the composting world to explain how food is grown in soil, prepared and eaten and if then turned into compost and used again, can. in turn, grow more food.

Other workshops explain how mushrooms and fungi help break down organic matter into humus or how chickens and other livestock help to make nutrient rich soil.

This season, spring 2016, we are including a reduce and reuse component to our workshops.  Most will show how materials diverted from the landfill can be repurposed for other uses–for instance, pallets turned into raised beds, bricks turned into a compost pile, logs that decay to form the nutrients and water supplying the garden bed that covers them.

Come check them out!   Call Jack Johnson, 429-2885, for more information.

News from the Living Lab Workshop

Kevin and Diana, pictured here, attended our “How to build a self wicking raised garden bed w/ repurposed materials” demonstration. Then they went home and used materials diverted from our landfill to build TWO of their own. They used packing pallets, our gravel and compost and with screws and some pvc soon had a great bed to start their spring garden. For more information on how to build such a garden, contact Kim Doyle Wille of Growing Empowerment.Raised bed image


April 16

Seed and Compost Giveaway–“Prep your Garden” talk

April 23

Build Your Own Self-Wicking Raised Garden Bed

May 7

Build Your Own Keyhole Garden demonstration

May 28

Back by POPULAR DEMAND–Build Your own Self-Wicking Raised Garden Bed


Join our instructor, Kim Doyle Wille of Growing Empowerment, to learn more about alternative methods of composting, traditional and RFV specific gardening methods and tips and more!  For more information,  call Jack Johnson at 970-429-2885

Except for Field Day, June 11, all Living Lab Workshops will be at the Pitkin County Landfill, mile marker 32, on Highway 82. 

All workshops begin at 9:15am and will last at least three hours.

New Paint Product at the Landfill!

“We now offer a very affordable, recycled paint for residential, interior use.  Pitco Paints is a 100% recycled paint made at the Pitkin County Landfill.  Come by and check out our very own “Conundrum Cream” and “Silver Queen White.  $14 gallon, $5 quart.”