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Monthly Newsletter

December 2020
Soil Cycle Sponsors Another
Successful Compost Give-Back
Soil Cycle's director, Caitlyn Lewis, is always thinking about how the act of composting be more empowering for people. Some of the most important events to her are the compost give-back rides. Every Spring and Fall, volunteers help us deliver compost to those members who want and can use compost. We partner up and take to all corners of Missoula with bicycle trailers, panniers, and backpacks full of compost. This year was no different. "It is important for our members to see a finished product; to see what their food scraps can become. We encourage members to grow their own gardens and complete the cycle from bucket to garden bed," said Lewis. 
Winter Volunteer Spotlight!

Volunteer: Sofia Fregoso

Project: Painting Soil Cycle's interior spaces

Volunteer & Member since October 2020

What has drawn you to volunteer with Soil Cycle?
I have big dreams to one day be involved in sustainable agriculture to serve my community, so when I heard about Soil Cycle, I was instantly intrigued. Figuring out how to limit food waste is a major interest of mine, and Soil Cycle is tackling it in Missoula in such a beautiful way! I love how every aspect of the service is done with care and the earth in mind. I knew this was true when a cyclist rolled up to my house during a snowstorm to pick up our compost. Also, I see it simply in the hard work of volunteers and Caitlyn turning buckets of rotten food into compost piles each week, the turning/sifting of the compost with bike power, and even in the little things, like how the paint we use at Soil Cycle is second-hand from Home Resource. All these things (and much more!) make Soil Cycle such an asset to the community where so much intent goes into every step. All of these things drew me to volunteer and subscribe, but what makes me stay is the genuine people I get to work with. Working with passionate people who care deeply about the community and the planet is very refreshing!

What projects are you currently working on at Soil Cycle?
Ironically, I haven’t been very involved in the composting process at SC, but I’ve been primarily working on a painting project! Caitlyn mentioned that the Black Solider Fly box needed some color, and since I love to paint, I jumped at the opportunity. It’s been so fun and restful from my busy days to be able to bike to SC each week to paint and hang out with the crew. 

How did you become interested in composting and sustainability?
I became interested through my own endeavors of vermicomposting. It’s a long story… but I learned how from a friend I made on craigslist who goes by “Jan the Worm Lady.”

How do you incorporate sustainability into your own life?
Relevant to Soil Cycle, I’m very interested in the world of gardening & small-scale farming, especially in regards to vermicomposting in my home and using the castings to naturally enrich my garden. I plan to do this on a larger scale when I’m able to. I would also say one of my hobbies is riding my bike. Even in the snow, I really enjoy it. For me, it's the ideal mode of transportation: It’s emission-free, very inexpensive once you have all your parts, it keeps your body healthy, and is quite fun! 

THANK YOU to Sofia and all our volunteers
this winter season!

You bring the energy and grit that propels Soil Cycle and the Missoula community toward a more successful and sustainable future!
Sci-Show Kids Educational Soil Series
Soil Cycle has partnered with a YouTube channel called SciShow Kids, to educate kids across the globe
about soil health and the benefits of composting.

This videos series is hot off the press and we are so thrilled with its ability to reach a wider audience!

Check out the series on the show's channel!

Visit us at the Winter Market! 

Our offerings at the Saturday Winter Market this year include:
  • Selling worm castings for your plant babies 
  • Plant presses for that budding botanist 
  • Christmas cards on wildflower seed paper
  • Gardeners hand salve 
  • Signing up compost members!

Plant Medicine &
Demonstration Garden

To offer more online education, we created a mini video guide to the common plants growing at our compost site. This is a short introduction video to plant medicine - featuring 11 medicinal plants found at the Soil Cycle Demonstration Garden. Sponsored by Heart Beet Herbal Remedies. (@heartbeetherbal on Instagram). 
To pair with our educational video, we created a Gardeners Hand Salve from the comfrey and calendula growing in the demonstration garden. This collaborative healing salve is excellent for dry, cracked, and achy hands. This is a great product for anyone who spends a lot of time with their hands in the soil. Email or to get your hands on a tin!
Holiday Waste-Less Tip Guide:

On average, Americans generate approximately 4.4lbs of trash per day. Come the holiday season, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year holiday period than any other time of year. 

To reduce your waste, consider: 
1. Gift experiences rather than stuff
2. Make a donation in someone's name
3. Wrap in reused materials (inside-out grocery bags make awesome wrapping paper!)
4. Craft homemade
ornaments out of paper, dried oranges, or collected pine cones! 
5. Avoid gag gifts
6. Compost your tree with the City of Missoula or Missoula Compost Collection

Winter Goals

  • Raise funds for 2 electric bicycles and a solar charging station
  • Expand our online education resources for all ages 
  • Plan drop-off membership expansion for the Missoula and Lolo community 
To achieve these goals we need: 
  1. Volunteers
  2. Donations
It seems like everyone is relieved that 2020 is coming to a close. What a year it's been! As the winter solstice on December 21 approaches, let us remember that the days of darkness always pass. They are essential to the life cycle of Mother Nature. Darkness fosters contemplation, rest, and quiet attention. Slowly, slowly, the light of each day will extend, minute by minute. Let us be patient and appreciate the stillness of this time. Toward a better and brighter future!
Happy holidays from all of us at Soil Cycle!

Thank You For Your Support!

With Love, from our Board and Cyclists! Keep on turning...
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736 S. 1st. W. Ste. C | Missoula, MT |
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Soil Cycle · 736 S. 1st St. W. Ste. C. · MIssoula, MT 59801 · USA

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