Golf News for Monday, March 21, 2011 | Others

Maryland's Musket Ridge launches new zero waste food initiative

Musket Ridge will become the first golf club on the East Coast to launch a zero waste food initiative for its award-winning golf course, restaurant and Catoctin Hall wedding and banquet facility.

The Club is transforming its entire restaurant, wedding and banquet operation to zero food waste through an innovative onsite bokashi composting program. Bokashi, originated from Asian cultures, uses fermentation to break down all food scraps -including meat, dairy and oils, in less than half the time of conventional composting while avoiding unpleasant odors and deterring pests. The end product is a natural liquid fertilizer that greatly increases the population of beneficial microbes that add valuable nutrients to the compost and helps improve the health of soil and plants. The Club will utilize the bokashi, compost, and compost tea on their new organic vegetable and herb garden that is being developed by their Executive Chef and will be featured as part of their menu options.

According to Jonny Dubowsky, musician and founder of Rock 'n Renew Foundation, (who is partnering in this initiative with Green Golf Planet, a sustainability consultancy that helps golf courses take a proactive, cost efficient approach to becoming more sustainable), "These guys run an impressive operation at a first class facility. Their management got it right away, so we are partnering with them to use Musket Ridge as a demonstration site for the Mid-Atlantic which will give other interested businesses a place to tour. Musket will help us continue to develop procedures, documentation and statistics going forward."

According to Damon DeVito, managing director and a founder of Affinity Management (www.affinitymanagement.com) in Charlottesville, Virginia, which manages Musket Ridge, "We have great new owners who have brought incredible economic sustainability to our facility by eliminating every penny of borrowing. We don't even have leases. It is a natural outgrowth that we committed to environmental sustainability."

DeVito continued, "As the premier wedding venue in the area, we produce approximately 4,000 pounds of food waste per year which goes right into the landfill where it decomposes very slowly and contributes to the production of harmful gases. Many of our brides and event planners have been asking how we could help them lessen the environmental impact of their wedding, meeting or golf outing. We considered traditional composting, but it has drawbacks for a commercial kitchen. This is a whole different ballgame that doesn't involve rotting and will handle meat and dairy, and the process is straightforward."

Musket Ridge is also planning an educational program with local public schools that shows students the importance of sustainability, with tours of Musket Ridge's zero waste initiative and also through hands-on school-garden and composting projects. The Club currently recycles all plastic, aluminum, glass and cardboard and has contracted with a biofuel company to utilize its kitchen grease to be reproduced into fuel.

Musket Ridge was rated #8 among Maryland golf courses by Golfweek Magazine in 2010 and named Best Golf Course in Frederick Magazine's Best of Frederick 2009 Awards. Catoctin Hall at Musket Ridge has been called "Maryland's Best New Event Venue." For more information about Musket Ridge Golf Club, please visit www.musketridge.com or call 301-293-9930.

Affinity Management advises, manages and owns private clubs, golf courses, equestrian facilities and other member-based businesses. Affinity has helped clubs in twenty-four states since 1997, and has a strong and growing practice in providing professional management for lenders post-foreclosure as well as borrowers aiming to avoid foreclosure. For more information about Affinity Management, please visit www.affinitymanagement.com or call 434-817-4570.