January 2015 

Newsletter Paragon

Coming Event (short notice) ...

Aerated Static Pile Composting Workshop
January 20th in Austin, Texas 

O2Compost President, Peter Moon, will be conducting a half-day workshop on ASP Composting at the 2015 U.S. Composting Council Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. For those who are interested in "The Business of Composting", this conference is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the organics management industry and get started on the right foot.

Peter's workshop will take place on January 20th and the cost is $175 for USCC members and $225 for non-members. If you attend this workshop and later decide to purchase an O2Compost system, a portion of your workshop fee will be credited back to you, depending on the system you select:  $50 discount for our Micro-Bin system; $125 discount for our Benchmark system; and your entire workshop fee will be credited back if you purchase our Cornerstone system.

For more information about the USCC Conference, we invite you to
visit:  http://compostingcouncil.org/workshops/

ASP Composting and Organic Land Care


Our Two-Day Workshop at St. John's University was a Huge Success!

St. John's Logo

In mid-December, O2Compost and Compostwerks  (our Northeast affiliate) conducted a two-day workshop on ASP Composting and Organic Land Care. Despite cold and snowy conditions, the workshop was very well attended and it received rave reviews.We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hospitality and generosity of St. John's University and the support provided by Mr. Tom Goldsmith, SJU's Directory of Environmental and Energy Conservation. Without Tom's enthusiasm, the workshop would not have been possible.The workshop answered two fundamental questions:

  • What do we do with the organic waste that every community generates; and
  • How do we use compost, and related organic products, to our best advantage?

The workshop participants represented municipal, institutional and non-profit organizations as well as private businesses. The focus of the workshop was "Keep it Local - Keep it Simple".Given the success of this event, we are currently planning future workshops to be conducted at major universities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Each workshop will include presentations by national leaders, along with demonstrations and hands-on exercises. The workshops are designed to be relevant and practical, with topics of discussion that include:

Aerated Static Pile (ASP) Composting

What is ASP Composting, and Why?
Secrets and Success / Learning by Doing
Environmental / Economic Benefits & Payoffs
Steps to Construct an ASP System
Vermi-Composting and How it Relates to OLC
Challenges and Limitations
 Pilot Projects - How to Get Started
Field Demonstrations & Hands-On Exercises 

Organic Land Care (OLC)
What is Organic Land Care?
Transitioning from Conventional to OLC
Micro-Biology 101
Case Studies and Real World Applications
Compost Tea - Methods and Procedures
Equipment and OLC Product Alternatives
How to Implement an OLC Program
Field Demonstrations & Open Discussion 

If you are interested in attending a future workshop, please send an email to info@o2compost.com. We will add you to our mailing list and, as we continue through the planning process, we will keep you informed of future workshop events.
To learn  more about ASP Composting,
visit www.o2compost.com.

To learn more about Specialized Compost Utilization, visit www.compostwerks.com

Peter's Rules of Composting - A 12-Part Series

Rule 9:  It's Important Critical to Make Mistakes 
(However, Small Mistakes are Better than Large Ones.) 

As I said in Rule 2, "To learn to compost one must compost". Developing a good compost mix and adjusting the rate of aeration (i.e. frequency, duration and volume of airflow) is largely a trial and error process. I believe that figuring out what doesn't work is considerably more important than figuring out what does work.

Composting is all about working within acceptable ranges (see Rule 7), and as long as we stay within these ranges, the process tends to sort itself out in the end. Pushing the limits on these ranges (C:N, bulk density, moisture content and airflow) to the point where the composting process doesn't work has reinforced my respect for these ranges.

The following is a quick story to emphasize this point.

I live on five acres outside of Snohomish, Washington - a small town on the "rural fringe". I have constructed several prototype compost systems and tested them with every variety of organic waste that I can get my hands on.

Back in 2008, a friend of mine and I filled one of my Micro-Bins with a mix of about 1 cubic yard of separated manure, 1 cubic yard of horse manure, and 600 pounds of salmon. If you are wondering ... that's a lot of salmon. I'm guessing that the C:N of this mix was somewhere south of 10:1 (very high nitrogen). I fully expected this batch to have a strong odor so I took precautions to cover and ventilate the top of the pile and treat the off gasses in a biofilter. Unfortunately, I didn't make the biofilter large enough and let's just say that my backyard smelled like low tide for about a week.

I've lived at the same place for 20 years and in that time we have seen a lot of wildlife, but that week - for the first time - we saw a bear. It was the talk of the neighborhood. It's also interesting to note that we haven't seen a bear since. My neighbors know me pretty well and were kind enough not to complain. However, they did ask "What do you have going on over there this time?" Which leads me to ...

The First Axiom Rule 9: "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want."

The Second Axiom of Rule 9:  "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing poorly - at first."

The Third Axiom of Rule 9:  "Don't stink up the neighborhood."

Previous Rules:
Rule 1
- Start With the End in Mind  (April Newsletter)
Rule 2 - To Learn to Compost, One Must Compost  (June Newsletter)
Rule 3 - Every Question About Composting Has Only One Answer  (July Newsletter)
Rule 4 - Oxygen is the Secret to Composting  (August Newsletter)
Rule 5 - Water is the Highway of Life  (September Newsletter)
Rule 6 - Composting Takes Time  (October Newsletter)
Rule 7 - There are No Decimal Points in Composting  (November Newsletter)
Rule 8 - This BIG - Start Small  (December Newsletter

Wellington StatueJust for Kicks ...

This equestrian statue is located outside the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland, and has a very funny story behind it. Capping the "Duke of Wellington" with a traffic cone has become a traditional practice in the city. Visit Wikipedia (or do a Google search for "Statue of the Duke of Wellington") to learn more. It's quite humorous.  


Frequently Asked Question

"A farmer told me that composted manure contains weed seeds that, when spread back onto a field, will make the crop that is being top coated full of weeds. Is this true?"


Spreading raw manure on pastures and farm crops can cause a serious infestation of noxious weeds. However, with an O2Compost system, sufficient heat is generated to destroy weed seeds as well as pathogens and plant/animal parasites. 

A New Compost System Comes On-Line

 Rainey System

OWNER:   Don R.
LOCATION:  Wallingford, Connecticut

8 horses on wood pellet bedding.

This is an NRCS Grant-Funded Project.
This system can also be found on our website (Highland Farms).

Coming Events

January 20-23, 2015
US Composting Council Conference
 Austin, Texas
Peter Moon will be covering "Advances in Small Scale On-Site Food Waste Composting"
For more information, visit compostingcouncil.org/compost2015/

March 15-18, 2015
International Conference on Solid Waste and Management
 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Peter Moon will be speaking about the onsite compost system that we designed for the city's women's prison and it's recent expansion to accommodate food waste generated by 2500 prisoners.
For more information, visit solid-waste.org/2015-conference-2/
or call (844) 266-9375 


Protecting Our Land, Air and Water Resources

Price-Moon Enterprises, Inc.
PO Box 1026
Snohomish, WA 98291

Phone:  360-568-8085
Email:   info@o2compost.com


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