They call themselves the Bucket Brigade, a group of faculty and student compost geeks at Johnson & Wales University appalled that so much waste from the school's 18 kitchens was landing in the garbage.
So, since January, J&W's culinary arts program teachers have placed plastic buckets at each sink for vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells, paper egg cartons and towels, bread and cake layers -- anything that can be decomposed and turned into compost. They've converted the culinary school's iconic spire above West Trade Street into a greenhouse where 1,100 seedlings are germinating.
And out back, in a parking lot, they've fenced in a concrete slab for a garden where those seedlings will be planted in 5-gallon buckets full of the compost made from the food scraps. From that garden, they'll harvest a variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs that will be used in the 18 kitchens. It's all part of a green curriculum pushed by chefs Robert Brener and Paul Malcolm and a student club that calls itself "The Coop."
"It's full circle. We're trying to launch an earth-to-table movement -- that you have to care for the food before it comes through the back door," Brener said. "There's a generation that thinks food is a bunch of big, long words on a label that you don't recognize.
"We want students to understand that a tomato that's been carefully grown has a dramatically different taste from one that's been mass-produced."
Read the full story at charlotteobserver.com.