Nora and Joe: Community Composting Compadres

Apr 13th, 2017 | By | Category: guest bio

Nora Chovanec and Joe Diffie are two people on the same path to zero waste living.

They are avid supporters of community composting as one way to achieve that goal.

They’re working together–Nora with Texas Farmers Markets, and Joe as the owner/operator of Joe’s Organics (both in Austin, Texas)–to create a community composting program at the Sunday market.

Get to know these composting compadres–and join the community.

Nora Chovanec

Nora Chovanec

Nora Chovanec is a graphic designer, multimedia producer, fermenter and environmentalist. Her experience spans work on food systems, species advocacy, environmental justice, globalization, and urban/rural development. Her background includes seven years as a designer and researcher for architect Maya Lin’s science-based art memorial What Is Missing? as well as a diverse catalogue of documentary photography and video stories produced in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Cuba and Uganda.

Nora is currently the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Texas Farmers’ Market, organizer of the Austin Fermentation Festival, Design Director at Travis Audubon and co-founder of Salud! Bitters.

Nora is passionate about helping communities build sustainable practices that support and conserve the natural environment and she believes the space for understanding and change begins with conversation and creativity. Raised an Oregonian, Nora has become a devoted Texan by way of marriage and she loves every season Central Texas has to offer. She currently lives in Austin, TX with her husband, the Arabic and Turkish scholar Matthew Chovanec, and their cat, four chickens, and a plethora of pollinators in their home garden patch.


Joe Diffie

Joe Diffie owner/operator of Joe’s Organics, and maker of Greener Pastures Compost.

Joe Diffie started his commercial compost hauling career as a Co-Director at Ecology Action. In 2011 he administered the City of Austin’s first compost hauling pilot program. He eventually formed Joe’s Organics in 2012, with the mission of diverting organic urban waste from landfills and turning it into a valuable resource.

Today, Joe’s Organics collects over three tons of waste each week from 30 restaurants and sustainable businesses in the Austin area. Over the last several years, over 200 tons of food waste have been diverted from landfills!

In February 2015, Joe’s Organics received a Young Farmer’s Grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture to expand the composting business into agriculture. The fields and greenhouse are fertilized by green businesses who are taking the next step to zero-waste, our local “Compost Partners.” Compost is used as the fertility base to grow clean, chemical-free microgreens and produce for sale to chefs, distributors, and at Texas Farmers Markets and the Downtown SFC Market. The team at Joe’s Organics is passionate about sustainable agriculture and empowering young people to get involved with growing food!

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