Foodscapes Hawaii incorporates PCHS compost into gardens of success

Jul 22, 2014 | PC Community


It all started with an article (  posted on in late June that featured Pearl City High School's Compost Sale from the school's 100% Waste Recovery Program. Mindy Jaffe, owner of the Waikiki Worm Company, who heads the 100% Waste Recovery Program, worked with her partners to  successfully turn tons of PCHS cafeteria food waste as well as green waste collected around campus into nutrient rich compost which was now available for purchase by the public. 

Fran Butera, Gardener-in Chief of Foodscapes Hawaii was there at the PCHS Compost Sale as both a supporter and customer of Jaffe. Butera has recently introduced the PCHS Compost into her business of planning and installing gardens for her clients on Oahu.

"The main predictor of success in all of our gardens is the commitment of the client/gardener," said  Butera. "To set them up properly, we study the site and interview the gardener-to-be and create an appropriate plan. My talented crew installs the garden and we fill it with a great locally-sourced soil mix, to which the PCHS compost was a very welcome addition this time. Then we plant the garden together with the client."

The nutrient rich PCHS Compost now serves as the base for Butera's expertise in turning her client’s back yard garden dreams into a thriving, productive, flourishing success. The true success of each garden is the commitment and daily care that the client actually puts into their gardens.

"So the client is starting out w/ the ingredients for success. But what really makes the garden flourish is the daily care and attention that the client gives it. And remember that most of our clients have never grown food before. Like Ms. Powell in Foster Village. Despite how busy she is as a working single mom raising a teen, something inside her made her look at her yard and think "Hey, I should grow food out here". In hiring us to help her, she made a financial commitment as well as a time commitment that is equal to learning to play a musical instrument."

Butera is grateful for the opportunity to utilize and offer Mindy Jaffe's PCHS Compost mix which she affectionately calls, "Pearl City's Finest", to her clients as they strive to move towards a healthier way of living. You can bet that Butera will be the first in line when the next few tons of PCHS Compost goes on sale next semester at the Pearl City High School campus.

"I'm so inspired by our clients who take the leap into this healthier way of living. We do everything we can to make it a good experience for them, like jumping at the chance to add "Pearl City's Finest" into our soil mix. I know any compost that Mindy makes is going to be a quality product. I wish I had gotten more. I will definitely be there when she sells next semester's batch so I can share it with more of our wonderful clients, many of whom are also doing vermicomposting thanks to Mindy."


Foodscapes Hawaii

Foster Village Garden Project

July, 2014


Photo courtesy of Fran Butera, Foodscapes Hawaii

PCHS compost added to our mix 7/1/14


Photo courtesy of Fran Butera, Foodscapes Hawaii

Raised bed planted, 7/3/14


Photo courtesy of Fran Butera, Foodscapes Hawaii

11 days later, 7/14/14


Photo courtesy of Fran Butera, Foodscapes Hawaii

The whole garden loves it!