The Texas State University Department of Agriculture is introducing a student education and composting operation known as "Bobcat Blend". The project will combine food waste and cardboard from campus dining halls, paper packaging materials, and invasive plant species gathered from the San Marcos River. Composting bins will be located in the LBJ student center dining areas near the waste bins. The composting site will be stationed at Texas State's Muller Farm and is scheduled for completion by the end of this spring semester 2009. Serving as a model program for sustainable practices and organic farming "Bobcat Blend" will emphasize education through lectures, tours, and volunteer opportunities.
Compost is the end result of decomposed organic matter. Examples of organic matter include cardboard, paper, gardening waste, leaves, fruit, eggs shells, vegetables, tree bark, and manure. Compost is used in landscaping, horticulture, and agriculture. It serves as a growing medium for plants to flourish in, retaining moisture, soluble minerals, and humic acids. Composting requires a balance of four essentials: browns (high in carbon), greens (high in nitrogen), oxygen, and moisture.
Composting reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and saves money on waste hauling costs. Additionally, any gardener can attest to the value of compost as a soil amendment. Composting returns nutrients to soil and aids in necessary microbial activity and can help fight soil born disease. "Bobcat Blend" composting is a notable achievement as Texas State progresses towards establishing a "greener" campus.
“The aim is that the project will become sustainable on campus and teach students and local producers production techniques of this alternative commodity for agriculture.” -Jason Sanders, Horticulture Student and creator of "Bobcat Blend"