As a café owner for 5 years, Gary Myers always wondered about the amount of food waste generated from the menu. He began investigating ways to reduce this waste and at the same time make it useful. This led to him literally rifling through the waste bins by hand, determining what waste he had and what he could do with it. The idea of self sustainability was nagging at him and creating his own produce was the end result. Gary then began to collect certain items from the waste bins, dividing out egg shells, banana skins, avocado skins and seeds, orange peels, meat and the rest of the food waste.
The meat was tossed to the birds, the unusable food waste went to his composting worm farms, but the skins, once dried out, he turned into a plant food nutrient powder to return back to his garden. These nutrients are processed to the point that they can be easily and readily absorbed without much decomposition time required. Once absorbed back into the garden beds, Gary found that his yield from his edible plants increased and also looked healthier. Eventually moving on from the café and focussed on gardening, he created his new business – Guerilla Gardener. This niche business concentrated on developing food waste nutrients to use and sell to gardening enthusiasts wanting to switch to an organic based way of boosting their garden yield and health. It also provided a growth medium for his own produce, which could be sold back to the cafes that gave him the food waste in the first place. Gary is now mulching old forest bark and leaves and stocking up autumn mulch so it is nutrient ready for spring.