GolfStyles Green News

Musket Ridge Commits to Zero Food Waste, First Progam in Eastern U.S.

Maryland Course Will Divert Up to Four Tons from Landfill Annually

It is not every day you see a bride and her maid of honor holding silver ceremonial shovels in front of a pile of dirt, rice and wedding cake, but that was the scene recently at Musket Ridge as the muchheralded golf course and wedding venue became the first of its kind in the Eastern half of the U.S. to commit to a zero food waste initiative.

"We estimate that we generate up to four tons of food waste annually," comments Damon DeVito of Affinity Management, which operates the facility. "With our large banquet facility, Musket Ridge is a leading destination for weddings, golf outings and other events. In serving groups, we generate a lot of waste. Now all of it Ė including meat and dairy Ė will be composted and reused on site."

The idea started when event coordinators and brides began asking Musket about its sustainability efforts. That led to recycling, gentler cleaners and turning kitchen grease into biofuel. Then Affinity discovered Bokashi composting and the Rock 'n' Renew Foundation.
Bokashi differs from traditional composting, which is a rotting process; does not accommodate dairy or meat; and can attract animals. Bokashi is a fermentation process and breaks down quickly without need for turning or adding leaves and grass.

Rock 'N' Renew Foundation founder Jonny Dubowsky, who has the support of musicians to inspire innovative educational programs, connected Musketís program with Valley Elementary School to provide a connection for their "green team" and organic gardening efforts. Dubowsky comments, "Musket, Affinity and Valley are leaders. They asked great questions and embraced our demonstration site proposal. Itís a big deal."

Musketís executive chef, Kyle Roberson, invited the school children to bring their vegetables to a hands-on cooking class and to learn about Musketís zero food waste program, including the organic garden he created to use the resulting compost, which he irrigates with rain barrels. Says Chef Kyle, "One idea leads to another. Weíre making a difference and it feels great."

From the May 2011 issue of GolfStyles Washington