Stories of Santropol Roulant – François-Xavier

Stories, Volunteering - Personal

For me, there’s something magical, or even spiritual about composting: it’s the wheel of reincarnations turning; the warmth of the sun that was stored in plants, freed one last time in a pile of compost as it heats up; the odour of finished compost that promises fertility for a garden…  After a few deliveries and volunteer shifts in the kitchen, I found my path and landed in the basement with a group of diverse and energetic volunteers, worms, bacteria, and the rest of our little ecosystem. We’ve been attached at the hip ever since!

As the compost collective was being formed, we realized there was lots to do to optimize the use of our space in the basement. We renovated the large compost tables, established maintenance procedures for various compost systems, and started weighing kitchen scraps to know how much progress we were making. This tally creates a genuine sense of pride–we dream of  the day where we’ll have the capacity to repurpose all of the kitchen scraps.

My long-term goal is to give back to the Roulant the expertise I’ve developed over the past year, by giving composting workshops and selling worms to those interested in raising them. I hope to leave Montreal one day to start a family farm. The descendants of the worms we’ve been tending to since the collective was created will live on in the basement and all over the city working their little magic… like a kombucha scoby or a sourdough starter that one has shared with all their friends.

This summer, I’ll be participating in an international cooperation internship with Québec Sans Frontières. My team and I are going to Ghana to help women in a village called Kadjebi optimize the productivity of their vegetable garden. I’m looking forward to sharing my biology knowledge with them, but I’m most excited to learn about local agriculture practices and the structure of their local farming groups.

For the time being, I’m planning my internship and financing a part of the costs by making organic fair-trade shea butter soap. I chose this product because shea butter production is a great rural development crop for West-Africa; it can be used as food and helps local producers generate revenue.

To read more about François-Xavier’s internship, check his project page!

About the blog series

Santropol Roulant is a beautiful community of members brought together by food and community engagement. In an effort to capture the diversity of our members, we are launching Stories of Santropol Roulant. We photograph our members and collect quotes and short stories to share on our blog and social media. We would love to hear your story! Contact if you have any questions or would like to be interviewed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *