Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

Frugal Friday: Free Compost

Leaf compostWe picked up this pile of compost for free earlier this week. St. Louis City collects and composts grass clippings, leaves, tree limbs, and other yard waste from the Forestry Division and city-wide yard waste dumpsters, ultimately providing compost and wood chips for free for all residents. There’s a list of pick-up sites here, Carondelet Park being the biggest. There are huge piles of leaf compost and wood chips at the east side of the park.

Unfortunately we’ve found that the compost piles, like much of the city, are trashy. We prefer to pick up compost in St. Louis County at Shaw Park. Either way, though, you’ll likely have to pick out some trash by hand, but it’s not bad for free compost!

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6 responses to “Frugal Friday: Free Compost

  1. Toni May 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    So happy I just found your site! What did you guys think of the compost? Did you amend it?

    • We Will Work for Food May 31, 2012 at 11:28 am

      Toni- We are so glad you found us! The compost is great. We use it to amend our garden beds, which are full of top soil (mainly clay), worm castings, rock dust, and now leaf compost. We also use it as an amendment to our own compost piles.

      • Toni June 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        Thanks so much! Unfortunately I have to purchase soil for my raised beds because I only have about an inch of soil in my yard before I hit rocks. So I was overjoyed when I found out about the park-thanks again! Our mixture sounds similar. I am using Axomite, worm castings, and some organic soil I purchased along with the leaf compost. I keep hearing great things about the rock dust and would like to try it soon. Your gardens look absolutely wonderful!

  2. sue March 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Is the compost at Shaw Park free to County residents?

  3. primalanesthesia January 2, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    I just went to Shaw Park today and was impressed at the quality of the dark free compost and shredded fall leaves. That’s fantastic!

    I have a question for you: does Carondelet park have wood chips or is it the very dark broken down compost like at Shaw park?

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