Changing Shape and Moving Forward

The research process so far has proved to be surprising and challenging, but nonetheless enjoyable and interesting. Something that I really appreciate about this work is that it has that ability to change shape and flex. With social research, I think the work needs to be able to shift as you learn more about the people that you’re talking to. I’ve found that through these interviews, the farmers have actually guided me in the direction of the questions that I should be trying to answer.

I’ve had the chance to conduct 4 interviews in total, 3 of which being in person. These interviews have covered a wide array of the subsets of organizations and types of people that are involved in the composting process. My first in person interview was with 2 volunteers at a local community garden. They provided great intel on the strengths and weaknesses of community run compost operations from the perspective of the concerned citizen. My most important takeaway from that interview was that there’s great pressure on these small grassroots orgs to bare the weight of the city’s waste stream. My second in person interview was with a farmer in Westchester whose expertise on compost taught me about compost systems that I didn’t yet know about. I was also able to send out an interview to another Westchester farm. These two interviews work together to paint a more clear picture of the process of dealing with the food waste that one’s own company or organization produces. My latest interview was with a woman who runs the food waste collection stand at a local farmers market. This one was great because it pushed me into the realm of city-level planning, a piece of the research puzzle that’s still trying to find its place.

Through the information that I’ve gathered thus far I can begin to see the work maturing, taking steps towards its final form. There’s much work to be done, which is daunting, but the prospect of seeing this development propels me forward!

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