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Aug 252011

(Mount Pearl, Newfoundland) –It's an idea that's been brewing for years. Some gardeners know all about the magical fertilizing properties of used coffee grinds. But now a farmer in Canada is taking the idea to a new level.

Just how many pots of coffee went into this load?
It's one pile in thousand of composted coffee collected from Tim Hortons stores.
And this farmer has been testing his "special brew" for about two years.

"It's a great material because it's a slow release and it's very high in organic matter, our soil is typically low in organic matter and that's what this coffee grinds supplies a huge amount to our land," explains Jim Lester, a farmer in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland.

These are the Tim Hortons owners who've been supplying this farm with a different kind of black gold:
Brad Rixxman owns a Tim Hortons Franchise; "The price of fertilizers is largely connected to the price of oil and that fertilizer will go up again, up in price, and if we can make use of a resources that's normally wasted as a part of our fertilization regime we'll be ahead in the long run."

His use of fertilizers is down by more than 25 percent since he started spreading timmies across the land. And recycled double doubles also means fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

"As a farmer we're stewards of the land and farmland is a resource that I'm only borrowing from the next generation.
We can't keep disposing of our nutrients and relying on chemical fertilizers you know this is a perfect material for the want of an initiative was being wasted, it's a resource that's being wasted," says Lester.

And there's no shortage of supply. These workers are trained to keep the old coffee filters out of the garbage.
Instead, going in special bins for transport to the farm, instead of the dump.

The cost to separated it and then to have it transported here is about offset the cost we'd be dealing with from the landfill and it's going to a much better use here.

Tim Hortons was founded in 1964 in Ontario.
It now has thousands of stores in the U.S.and Canada.

(Paul Pigott for CNN)