Bruce Adams

Bruce Adams

Speaker | Furman University

Greenville, SC | bruce.adams@furman.edu

Bruce Adams is the Furman Farm and Compost Manager. Bruce is a fourth generation local farmer who has been with the Furman Farm since its inception 10 years ago. He has overseen the transformation of the land from a series of tennis courts to a highly productive organic practice farm. He works closely with Bon Appetit, Furman’s food provider, to provide the dining hall with fresh campus grown produce and to convert the food waste from the dining hall into compost which feeds the farm. Bruce is a wealth of knowledge on organic farming and oversees all of the farm’s student programs.

Session Name: College and University Composting 1: The Small(er) School Experience

Session Time: Thursday, January 30, 8:30 to 10:00 AM

Presentation Title: From Farm to Fork to Farm: The Furman University Case Study

Presentation Description: The Furman University Farm is a ¼ acre organic practice garden with a comprehensive composting program. The farm is largely student run by a student farm manager and student compost manager under the direction, oversight, and management of a full time university employed organic farmer. The farm sits on campus on land that was formerly a series of tennis courts; significant attention to soil quality, composting, a French drain system, and endless hours of manual labor have transformed this area into a highly productive educational and revenue generating campus farm. The farm grows thirty five different fruits and vegetables and sells its produce to the Furman Dining Hall through an agreement with Bon Appetit, Furman’s food provider. The farm has also supported a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in the past in which students, staff, faculty, and community members can purchase a share of the farm. The composting program now in its tenth year has evolved immensely and currently handles all of the pre- and post-consumer waste from the dining hall, paper towels from the academic building bathrooms, and the university’s landscaping waste. The program has required coordination and collaboration between the farm and numerous university stakeholders including our food provider, custodial staff, and landscaping crew. The program uses large scale pile composting, in-vessel composting, and small scale demonstration composting. Additionally we have experimented with vermicomposting and mortality composting. The compost produced is used back on the farm and is the only source of fertilizer, completing the closed loop system. Last year the farm composted 52 tons of food waste alone and is currently exploring the process and requirements for selling the extra compost locally. This presentation will share Furman’s compost story, evolution of the program, and our partnership with the various key stakeholders.