Ecologies of Transition Roundtable: We Are All Compost

Human bodies, a cantaloupe, grass clippings. All share important functions—they live, die, and can turn into compost. With new legislation passed in Washington State, human bodies can now be composted in aboveground facilities. What can we learn from a world where relationships between fungus and fruit are happily encouraged? A world where a half-eaten head of lettuce becomes food for chickens, rather than spending the rest of its days off-gassing in a landfill? Join us on Governors Island to explore tactics for recycling organic waste—food scraps from the island—into rich compost with Marisa DeDominicis of Earth Matter. This roundtable session will be part discussion and part hands-on compost-sifting and seed starting at Soil Start Farm and the Compost Learning Center.

This roundtable will take place off-site at Governors Island, Nolan Park 8B, which is accessible via ferry from Manhattan and Brooklyn.

About the Ecologies of Transition Roundtable series:
How can we change our thinking and actions to acknowledge and work with ecological life cycles? The Ecologies of Transition Roundtable is a space for discussing how ecological long-term thinking can be applied to design and daily life. The series will be grounded in sharing and reflecting on methods for noticing how humans and natural matter shape urban ecology. The sessions this fall will feature activists, designers, and artists engaged in regenerative ecological practices: capturing carbon in soil, turning organic waste into compost, and maintaining waterways to accommodate rising tides.

Marisa Prefer is an educator, urban ecologist, and herbalist who works across disciplines to translate knowledge between plant and human communities. Prefer is the Landscape Steward at Pioneer Works, and collaborates with artists to facilitate projects about regenerative ecology, food, and public space. Find out more at

Marisa DeDominicis leads initiatives for better food waste management in and around New York City, as an environmental educator and as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Earth Matter. Her efforts seek to reduce organic waste misdirected into the garbage stream by encouraging neighbor participation and leadership in composting. She has a BA in Business and Organizational Communications from Emerson College, Boston, and has worked for the Trust for Public Land.