Covid-19 and Composting
Message from Peter Moon:
The dichotomy that we all face with the Covid-19 Pandemic is that "everything" has changed while many things have basically stayed the same.
We are well advised to stay at home, wash our hands frequently, maintain social distance, and do whatever we can to "flatten the curve". At the same time, people continue to generate yard waste and food waste, and horses and other livestock continue to produce manure, all of which needs to be managed.
Given that most of us have some extra time on our hands, I invite you to visit our website and give some serious thought to installing an O2Compost System for your farm or business. This spring is the perfect time to take action with builders actively looking for work to keep their crews busy.
If you have questions about our approach to composting, you can schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me on our Contact page.
I look forward to talking with you. ~ Peter
Earth Day 2020
As an individual, you can yield real power and influence as a consumer, a voter, and a member of a community that can unite for change. earthday.org
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day - a movement started in 1970 by Dennis Hayes, a Wisconsin senator, has now evolved into a global network of citizens and environmental leaders determined to make positive changes for the health of our planet.
This year's Earth Day theme is: Climate Action
Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable. earthday.org
How does composting affect climate change?
The compost that soil produces further contributes to climate change mitigation by improving the soil's ability to stabilize carbon and by increasing plant growth, thereby pulling more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. United Nations Climate Change
Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. www.epa.gov
For horse owners, properly managing the manure can reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Methane has 25 times and nitrous oxide has nearly 300 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. www.agric.wa.gov.au
As demonstrated during the COVID-19 "Stay at Home" Emergency Action Plan, pollution of our land, air and water resources can be significantly decreased worldwide with focused efforts by us all.
Visit the Earth Day website to learn how you can participate in the "24 Hours of Action".
The Soil and Water Connection
US Composting Council, Research and Education Foundation
Soil degradation and water pollution are widely recognized as serious environmental problems. Experts disagree on the rate of topsoil loss or the decline of water quality, but few deny that both losses are a threat to a sustainable future.
Each year this country loses some five billion tons of topsoil to erosion; 80% of it is washed away, the rest blown away. Over the last 200 years, we have managed to lose roughly one third of the topsoil on the nation’s croplands and, despite our best efforts at soil conservation, we continue to lose topsoil ten times faster than it is being formed.
As soil loses its ability to buffer environmental impacts, water quality and quantity declines. When soil no longer stores nutrients, regulates water flow or filters chemical and biological contaminants, water quality is compromised. Soil is an integral part of our natural capital and it provides invaluable ecosystem services to our planet and humanity.
There is no singular solution to declining soil and water quality. But the most promising tool for this task is organic matter, and the most versatile organic material is compost. Returning organic matter to the soil closes the loop of organics recycling. Using compost enables resource managers to preserve, purify, restore, and remediate soil and water resources.
Compost application can:
- Preserve topsoil and prevent erosion;
- Purify soil and water by managing nutrients, improving salinity, filtering storm water runoff; binding pollutants in soils and suppressing plant pathogens;
- Restore soil and water quality by revitalizing wetlands and invigorating depleted soils;
- Remediate soil resources by managing problem organics in contaminated soils.
Organic matter is the basis for plant growth and animal life on which we all depend for sustenance. That it helps to restore both water quantity and quality defines the soil and water connection.
NEW - The Equestrian App
For Horse Owners and Equestrian Businesses – And It’s FREE
A few years back, Patrick Husting retired as a business analyst and software engineer and started an entirely new lifestyle as a first-time horse owner. With his wife and three sons, he built a horse farm in the hills behind Redmond, Washington; it included a Barn Pros barn and an O2Compost Paragon Compost System.
As a new horse owner, Patrick realized that there was a great deal of information to manage for each of his three horses and instead of using paper files, he began to tinker with a smart-phone application for his own use. The App included vet and farrier reports, feeding schedules, a calendar of events, notes about riding competitions, and much more.
While at a hunter jumper competition with his youngest son, one of Patrick’s friends saw him entering information into his App and when they learned more about it, they asked if they could get a copy to use for their own horses. One thing led to another and within six months 3,500 horse owners were using “The Equestrian App”. As of today, some 14,000 people are using it worldwide.
For more information about Patrick’s App, go to equestrianapp.com and get started. The basic App is completely free and the expanded Silver and Gold Packages are offered for a small annual fee. If you mention O2Compost when you subscribe, the Silver Package will be included at no cost for three months.
Everything about Your Horse in One Spot
The Equestrian App is the only app you’ll need in the care and enjoyment of your horse(s). From the basic day-to-day horse ownership needs with a unique equine based calendar, to feeding and caring, to journaling all your equestrian activities with your horse, The Equestrian App can help you manage them in one place.
Frequently Asked Question
QUESTION: When is my compost done?
ANSWER: It depends on what you plan to do with it.
- If you plan on applying it to your established pastures, you will be safe at 30 days (straight out of the bin).
- If you plan to use it in your garden with seeds or young transplants, you should allow it to cure for 30-60 days.
- If you plan on putting it in sealed bags, you should let it cure and stabilize for six months or longer.
Here is a more indepth explanation of the purpose and active components behind the aeration and curing phases:
It is important that the pile maintains a temperature of 131 degrees (F) for three days to destroy the pathogens, parasites and weed seeds in the raw mix. This happens during the "active phase" of composting which lasts approximately 30 days. During this time, the rate of composting decreases as the available nitrogen and carbon are consumed by the bacteria. Somewhere in the 21-30 day range, the microbial population transitions from a bacterial dominant community to a fungal dominated community at which point we refer to it as "curing". When you remove the compost from your bin it is not fully stabilized and, as a result, we suggest setting it aside (without air) for an additional 30-60 days.
New Systems Come Online