Compost is the answer.” This was the gist of a beautiful afternoon during Soil Health Week (March 4 – 10) with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance. Fremont Township Garden volunteers and community members throughout the region gathered with the Illinois Food Scrap & Composting Coalition (IFSCC) to learn more about how compost improves soil health and helps close the loop to feed people.

The IFSCC co-hosted a live pantry garden demo that drove home the value of a circular food economy. Attendees learned how plant matter returns to soils that nourish organic plantings and feed Fremont Township residents. The demo spotlighted a decentralized composting process with IFSCC Member, Teegen Compost Services, and Alicia Dodd, Fremont Township Highway Commissioner, taking the lead.

Healthy soils = healthy bodies. Alicia Dodd, Fremont Township Garden Director, told us her “why” and described her family’s connection to agriculture, passion for compost, and commitment to being the change we need to see in the world. Compost helps with her indoor seedlings, cover crops, crop rotation, and more. Alicia leads volunteers that contribute during stewardship days throughout the season. Their efforts are supported by the Township and rely on outside donations in order to distribute healthy, seasonal, regeneratively grown produce in their Fremont Township Food Pantry.

Community Members asked loads of great questions and we all talked about the wide range of opportunities and benefits when returning (recycling) nutrients to our gardens, lawns, and community spaces.

Friends from SWALCO and Seven Generations Ahead joined us and made connections that will help grow our coalition, educate, and provide IFSCC composting resources to gardeners, eaters, farmers, and more.

COMPOST! Nature’s Climate Champion. Learn more about the environmental benefits of composting at