Cement covered in colored hand prints in a green space

We are thrilled to announce Fehr Ave Farm now hosts a solar-powered, aerated community composting station of our own design! We are excited for the new Schenectady Community Composting Collaborative, a partnership with Schenectady County Soil and Water District, Schenectady Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Schenectady School District Farm to School program

Our new Schenectady Community Composting Collaborative is running a pilot project this spring into summer. The new Fehr Ave Farm composting station will be receiving food scraps from Schenectady City School District as well as the SiCM Food Pantry to compost. We will be tracking the process of decomposition and then test the finished compost. Our hope is to create a composting system that can be replicated throughout Schenectady County and the region. 

Cement blocks and PVC pipe in an outdoor green space

“This is a wonderful collaboration with the Schenectady School District Farm to School program and the Urban Farms. This compost design is unique with air flowing under the food waste to accelerate decomposition. The sun generates electricity without being connected to a power grid and allows for the air to flow through perforated PVC piping under the compost for one minute every half hour.”

John Reschovsky specializes in off-grid solar-power sources. He made Fehr Ave Farm solar-powered. Learn more about his work helping Fehr Ave Farm install a solar-powered Free Food Fridge.

John Reschovsky

Engineer, Designer, Volunteer

farm equipment in a green space
trenches dug into a farm
farm and construction equipment digging trenches in a farm

Composting food scraps requires oxygenation for the proper microbes to grow. Proper microbes break down the food scraps without the bad smells associated with compost piles that become anaerobic. Our solar-powered system runs an aerator that pumps air into the pile. This is our own design, created by SiCM volunteer John Reshovsky, who also designed our solar-powered systems for the Free Food Fridge on Fehr Ave and our Vale Farm. From the interest we have received during its creation, this may be the first of its kind in this state, maybe country. 

Cement area with PVC tubing on a farm in green space

Children from Schenectady City School District Farm to School program helped dedicate the composting project by adding their colorful hand prints to the top, seen to the right.

Children lined up in front of a cement composting unit at a farm.

We are thrilled and hopeful as we enter the beginning stages of operation! Some of our youngest composters from Zoller Elementary School visited the farm last week and we dedicated the composter. We are excited to be in partnership creating sustainable solutions for Schenectady to process the enormous amounts of food waste generated in our communities and build back our soils with healthy, rich, nutrient-dense compost.

Person with long hair wearing glasses and long sleeve shirt against a farm background with text about compost
Did you know that compost needs 4 elements to be a nutritious soil amendment?
  1. Browns. This means carbon-based materials such as twigs, dry leaves, and plant stalks. These items provide food for the microorganisms to consume and digest.
  2. Greens. Materials rich in nitrogen include fresh leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable scraps help to heat up the pile to create ideal conditions for the material to breakdown.
  3. Water (moisture).
  4. Air (oxygen).

Air oxygenates the soil for microbes to breathe. This new solar-powered aerated composting system brings oxygen into the food scraps so that the compost pile doesn’t require turning.

Farmer Leah

SiCM Farms Manager

Read more about Schenectady Urban Farms or consider becoming a member. You can also support our work.