In support of a major expansion of our Food Tree Project, Green Sage Cafe collected over 100 lbs of their spent coffee grounds for our Sand Hill Community Orchard. So how exactly do spent coffee grounds go along with fruit orchards? One tasty word, blueberries.
Blueberry plants thrive in a slightly acidic soil and the composted topsoil that we use for all of our plantings is pH neutral. By adding in the coffee grounds we lower the pH and provide another source of nutrients for the plants. Another bonus, as the coffee grounds decompose nitrogen is introduced back into the soil.
Sand Hill Community Orchard Expansion
On a beautiful Saturday in January, volunteers from Warren Wilson College, UNC, Nextstep and the community fell upon the task of expanding the Candler orchard. Located at the entrance of the Buncombe County Sports Complex off Sand Hill School Road, this is the 5th and largest of Asheville GreenWorks' community orchards. Encompassing over an acre of Buncombe County property, this orchard is packed with edibles ranging from chestnuts, to apples to the area's largest FREE blueberry patch. Volunteers installed 38 blueberry plants, 2 apple trees and 4 plum trees to the already huge orchard.
We built raised beds for the blueberries so that we could micromanage the growing conditions and beat back weeds. The composted top soil used in the planting originated from a local commercial composter, but needed the pH to be lowered and that's where Green Sage Cafe stepped in.
What else can you do with your left over coffee grounds? They're a great addition to any composter, as you can use them in the same way to plant acid-loving plants like rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas. Will your blueberries taste like coffee or contain caffeine? Sadly no, but they will grow like weeds.