Our goal is to support urban farming in the Pittsburgh region by focusing on the food growing soil. We believe that the health of the soil is directly related to the nutrition of the food that it produces. Steel City Soils was formed in 2009 to address the main obstacles to successful urban farming. Since then we've supported many urban farming projects and we've diverted over 100 tons of food waste from the landfill and into food producing gardens in Pittsburgh.
In 2008, while volunteering at Grow Pittsburgh's Braddock Farm, we asked
the question: "If we expect urban farming to produce about half our
city's diet, how much compost are we going to need?" We quickly
learned that it will probably never be enough and that most of our food
scraps are thrown away never to be seen again. This was the inspiration
for an 8-year journey to start a compost business that could directly
support a thriving, sustainable, local-food economy here in Pittsburgh.
2014 we asked for help from many of the people we've met along the way,
and SCS turned into a cooperative model in which people could learn,
work, and join in on the compost fun. Since then we've developed about
10 worker-owners who have pledged their time in exchange for ownership
in the compost co-op.This cooperative model was one of the
reasons we have made it this far. Now with this campaign, we are trying
to get equipment needed to save labor hours and create a viable product.
With this funding we are proposing to do the preliminary work needed to build a site which can handle up to 500 tons/year of food waste from Pittsburgh, PA area. This site would serve as a model for community composting and could be replicated in the future.