2018 October News
Getting Ready for Winter
If you own an O2Compost System, please do the following in advance of the cold winter weather:
- Clean out as many of your compost bins as possible to maximize your capacity to: 1) compost your manure; and 2) cure and store your finished compost through the winter months.
- Land apply your compost to your pastures in advance of next year's growing season (October is an excellent time to do this).
- When your bins are empty, clean out your aeration trenches from any debris that might have fallen through the plenum boards.
- Test your blower and timer to ensure that they are: 1) operating properly; and 2) delivering air to each of the respective bins.
- Make repairs to your bin walls and the roof structure, if needed.
- Please call O2Compost if you have any questions or need technical assistance.
If you do not yet own an O2Compost System, there is still time to get one set up so that you can avoid the winter "muck pile" syndrome.
Now is the best time to take action toward protecting our air, land and water resources.
Visit our website or give us a call at 360.568.8085.
Composting Zoo Poo
The Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida, has completed construction of their O2Compost System and has begun to compost the manure generated by the resident giraffes, zebras, camels, and other herbivores. The compost system yields finished compost that is used throughout the zoo grounds. The project was funded through a grant from Waste Management.
Excerpt from Brevard Zoo's News Release: "We're thrilled to be a partner in this exciting new Zoo venture", said Amy Boyson, community affairs manager at Waste Management. "Recycling is more than just what can be done at the curb. This facility will save valuable landfill space while creating a beneficial product for our environment."
Check out this VIDEO created by Brevard Zoo. (Note: the first part of the video does not have sound.)
Sky River Fish Compost
A progress report by Peter Moon.
In O2Compost's summer newsletter, I discussed a new project that I have taken on with two partners: Sky River Fish Compost. We have made a good deal of progress this summer in an effort to set up the sale of bagged fish compost to nurseries for the 2019 growing season.
In May and June of this year, we had a booth at one of our local farmer's markets here in Western Washington and we gave away over five hundred one-quart bags of compost for people to try. In exchange, we asked for names and email addresses so that we could follow up and let them know where they could buy it. Feedback included such comments as:
"My garden was included in the 'Edmonds in Bloom' garden tour this year and it was a huge success, especially my new raised beds where we used your fish compost. Incredible results. Where can I buy some more?" Cathy D.
"I live on Whidbey Island and I used the three bags of fish compost that I bought from you at the Everett Farmer's Market. It's amazing stuff - I'm addicted." Sandy N.
"THANK YOU very much for the free sample. We also ended up buying two large bags of your compost and are glad we did. I've used it throughout my garden and I thank you very much and so do my plants. Keep up the good work ... SUPERIOR product, so much better than others that I have used previously. We hope to see your product in more stores." The Bacon Family
I will admit that "getting the word out" takes a considerable amount of time, expense and road miles. To maximize our marketing outreach, we have: 1) developed a list of nurseries, landscape supply companies, organic landscape maintenance companies, and landscape architects; and 2) are sending to each a sample of our fish compost along with a brochure and a letter that discusses pricing options.
We are using the USPS small flat rate boxes at a cost of $7.20 each. After sending the sample, we are calling each person to confirm that they have received it and to "make our pitch". With few exceptions, the people with whom we have spoken have been courteous and open to the idea of carrying a new, locally produced, high-quality compost product.
We are selling Sky River Fish Compost in 1-cubic foot bags, 50 bags to the pallet. As fully expected, one of the challenges that we encountered was setting up our new LLC. As it turns out, receiving a check for a pallet of compost is fun, but you need a bank account in which to deposit it. To open a business account, you also need a business license which is only the beginning of the paperwork. To make a long story short, this became a "Ready, Fire, Aim" situation but it only took us four weeks to muddle our way through this planning incongruity.
One of the other realizations that we have had was that launching a new product takes time. We were offered some early advice - "Be patient, this will take at least three years of diligent effort." Given the cyclic nature of the growing season, nurseries tend to plan in the fall, buy products and stock their shelves in the winter, and sell - sell - SELL in the spring. And mid to late summer tends to be their slow season in terms of product sales, meaning that they are not in a buying mood that time of year.
Now that we are heading into fall, we are bagging up compost as fast as we can in advance of the winter rain and cold. We've hired a small crew to do the bagging, and our goal is to have 50 pallets (2,500 bags) ready to go once the buying season begins after the holidays. Our next challenge will be to figure out how to deliver the pallets throughout Western Washington. I'll leave that discussion for our Spring Newsletter.
For now, we are making great progress and having a ton of fun. ~Peter
A New Book by Nikki L. Kagan
"I found my path to leadership through horses. Horses seem to personify the behaviors of successful leaders and, in their presence, we seem called upon to be our best selves. Sharing space with them somehow draws us inward to a place where we can strip away our masks in privacy and look upon our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, without filters. Through self-awareness, we can begin testing those insights when we feel ready and able.
Over the years, I have collected countless photographs of people and horses which, upon reflection, epitomize many of the insights I have experienced either for myself or seen through the eyes of leaders and teams with whom I have had the privilege to work." ~Nikki Kagan
Nikki is an O2Compost client living in Elyachin, Israel. In her 30 years as a corporate facilitator and leadership development coach and consultant, she found the most effective leaders are those who can look deep inside themselves for their own "truths", and then courageously express those truths to colleagues, clients and employees. But that's not easy, and many people can use some help.
Nikki's book is available for purchase on Amazon.
New Compost Systems Come Online
Owner: Alexa B.
Location: Poolesville, MD
ON OUR WEBSITE
Owners: Paul G. and Leslie L.
Location: Campbellville, Ontario
ON OUR WEBSITE
||AERATED STATIC PILE
OWNER: Jim L.
LOCATION: Budkingham, PA
ON OUR WEBSITE
OWNER: Brian W.
LOCATION: Greenwood, SC
ON OUR WEBSITE
January 25 & 26, 2019
On-Farm Composting Workshop
- Deale Community Library in Anne Arundel, MD
This is a grant-funded project through the Maryland Department of Agriculture. O2Compost will be partnering with Veteran Compost to demonstrate an animal waste management technology. Two dates are available for your convenience. Go HERE to register.