Tag Archives: compost

urban composting

9 Jan

photo-1What image comes to mind when you think of composting?

For many of you, composting goes hand in hand with open spaces, farms, and backyards.

So what about those folks living in urban settings, where backyards are virtually non-existant and open spaces are confined to city parks and stretches of concrete? Are they compost-exempt?

A recent article in the New York Times graciously lists some city friendly composting devices that will help connect urban dwellers with newfound composting routines, as they make strides in reducing their food waste.

A quick summary:

  • Blanco, a sleek bin embedded into your kitchen counter
  • NatureMill, “compost made easy”
  • Worm Factory 360, if you are comfortable with worms in your apartment, this ones for you!
  • Envirocycle Mini, if you do have access to outdoor space, this could be a great option
  • Vokashi, a compost pick up and drop off service


Check out our food & garden summer camp where we collaborate with master-composters to teach our campers the fundamentals of composting.

Vegan Zucchini Bread

22 Aug

Zucchini BreadAs our food + garden summer camp comes to a close, our campers are creating their last recipes to add to their Butter Beans cookbooks.

Hands down, one of their favorite foods they’ve made at camp was the vegan zucchini bread. They ranted and raved about this quick bread, so we thought we’d share the delicious recipe with you!

Makes 2 loaf pans, recipe adapted from hell yeah it’s vegan!


  • 6 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups turbinado or light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-2.5 cups grated zucchini (~3 medium sized ones)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or raisins, optional


Grease 2 loaf pans, preheat the oven to 350F. Mix together flax seeds with warm water, then add sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla and beat well. Add grated zucchini, and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together remaining dry ingredients. Add dry mixture to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Pour batter into pans and bake for 50-55 minutes.

Thank you to all of the wonderful families and campers we have met along the way this summer! We hope that your children leave inspired to cook creatively, grow edible gardens, compost food scraps, support local farmers, preserve foods, make their own ice cream, and set good examples for those around them.

If you are interested in signing up for the adventures yet to come during summer camp 2013, shoot us an email at camp@butterbeanskitchen.com, we have some early bird discounts that you won’t want to miss!

Photo courtesy of lydiajoy1

Learning to Compost!

23 Mar

Our 3-day Food & Garden Experience started as you might expect – in a compost bin. Emily Dinan, Project Coordinator for the NYC Compost Project in Brooklyn was our trusted guide. (Thank you Emily!) She provided us with dirt to explore and bins to dig through full of red wiggler worms. Did you know that red wiggler worms have 5 hearts? Did you know that they eat more than half their body weight in food every single day? They don’t have teeth, so no need to be alarmed. They are just squishy squirmy little ones that make beautiful compost out of our scraps. The NYC Compost Project wants to inspire all of us to compost, so addressing the smelly reputation of compost bins was a part of the lesson. Honestly, this bin didn’t smell at all! The trick is getting an equal balance of carbon (from leaves, hay, newspaper, cardboard, etc. ) and nitrogen (from banana peels, decaying lettuce and other vegetable scraps), and cutting your compost scraps into the smallest pieces possible so that they decompose faster, keeping the air in your home clear. These red wiggler compost bins come with a list of things to avoid – meat, dairy, oil, anything with ink (chemicals) or paper with plstic coating (cereal boxes). For those of you in NYC wanting to compost but wary of starting your own bin just yet, there are programs happening now and looking for support – namely, your compostable scraps at a park near you. Check them out!

The Food & Garden Experience continues. We’ve been shopping at Greene Markets, learning to pickle and sprout. More to come..