Randall’s Island Urban Farm

Project Details

Where: Randall's Island, NY

Dedication Date: 4/24/14

Donation Type: Solar-Powered Composter

Size:

Claim to Fame: First Sun Club Donation of a Solar Composter

Project Overview

The 60th Sun Club dedication is unique in the history of the program which has the mission of funding solar technology for non-profits — $6,000 funded a solar-powered composter and solar education at Randall’s Island Park in the East River across from Manhattan. The Urban Farm at Randall’s Island hosts free school programming for the local communities and functions as an organic farm. As a farm, they rely heavily on quality compost which can cost them thousands of dollars each year to purchase.

This unique donation is a  Forced-Air Composting System which uses a battery charged by a solar panel to power a pump that forces air through the compost pile for 30 seconds, every 30 minutes. This allows material to decompose more quickly and creates a safer environment because it composts at a hotter temperature and helps sterilize the new soil. There is no power available at the farm; therefore a solar power was the only means to make this type of composter possible! They’re also able to make more compost than ever before, saving an estimated $3,000-$4,000 a year on compost which they would have had to buy otherwise.

Solar is also  a great addition to their curriculum, demonstrating how they can further reduce their reliance on pesticides on the farm while maintaining strong, healthy vegetables (and strong healthy kids!). On the day of the dedication Green Mountain employees were on hand to run the kids through an organic gardening class and thanks to this new installation, teach them about solar energy, too.