The short answer is yes. Each year a farm produces crops or is grazed, it loses a bit of it’s life. Then there’s all the land that is paved and compacted into cities, homes, or roads. Soil is an increasingly finite resource, one that we can’t afford to lose. Luckily, we have composting. Composting emulates the natural regenerative cycle and replenishes our soils so that they aren’t “used up”. For more details about how soils are disappearing and how compost helps, check out BBC’s article on soils disappearing.
We’re jazzed to announce that one of our customers has been awarded the Leopold Conservation Award. While we only just started working with them, we are excited to be a part of their ongoing sustainability. Learn more about Park Farming Organics and the award on the Sand County Foundation website and on the Sustainable Conservation website.
We always love hearing from happy customers who see the value in our compost. For a little look into what one customer thinks, take a look at Farmboy Organics. This is what we’re all about: making quality food from quality compost.
We can’t get you your compost if there’s not a truck to haul it. We wanted to give a shout out to our many amazing trucking partners, especially during this Fall busy season. These truckers go above and beyond to deliver up windy roads throughout Northern California, no matter the weather.
Last weekend, Cold Creek Compost made an appearance at the Hispanic Heritage Fair in Ukiah, hosted by our local paper Al Punto. Our booth featured samples of our products and was staffed by our highly qualified crew!
The creation of compost has a long history dating back thousands of years, and the product itself is still highly popular as soil amendment for both large-scale farms and small home gardens. However, most people only have a vague idea of what compost is and definitions can vary. In simple terms, compost is made by blending together green waste (such as grass, leaves, and food waste) with brown waste (which includes woody materials like stalks, tree branches, and paper). Then, over a period of multiple months, these materials break down; the process of decomposition is promoted by grinding or shredding the materials, keeping the mixture wet, and providing necessary aeration by flipping the mixture or otherwise turning it. A well-cultivated compost pile results in a thriving environment that contains fungi, bacteria, and other decomposers, all of which contribute to the breaking down of the waste materials, as well the nutritious value of the compost itself.
One of the most important parts of creating compost is making sure the ingredients involved will not produce a final product that is a potential contaminant, which can result in a food safety issue. Proper aeration is necessary to meet FDA guidelines for producing safe compost, especially when in large batches. A compost pile with too hot a temperature for multiple consecutive days is a cause for concern, and some materials are not recommended for composting. For example, in smaller batches containing meat products can result in the mixture overheating, and also has an unpleasant smell that can attract animals. Adding ash or charcoal to one’s compost pile is also not recommended, as such materials contain high amounts of sulfur which can negatively affect plant growth. Though the composting process can seem complicated and difficult to get started yourself, there are plenty of free resources available on the web for composting. For more information on how to cultivate your own compost, below are a few links to pages that can get you started.
A good introduction to home composting:
United States Environmental Protection Agency: Composting at Home
Learn more about the uses of compost and its impact on the environment:
Compost and Mulch by CalRecycle
Dive deeper into perfecting your own compost pile:
Sydney Gardeners Ultimate Guide to Composting
List of materials that can and can’t be composted:
What Can Be Composted by Personal Creations
A guide to more resources on composting:
Compost Resources by Compost Foundation
Any press is good press? Not always. Cold Creek Compost is happy to make the news in AgAlert’s latest publication, but the article points out a tricky subject in our industry. California is well-known for its stringent environmental regulation, and Cold Creek Compost has long felt the strain of those regulations. While our primary function – composting waste – is good for the planet, there are many steps in the process that have environmental impacts. AgAlert’s article points out that diesel, which is the primary fuel for shipping and processing organics, is subject to strict environmental regulations that are becoming increasingly costly to meet. Our industry, and the trucking industry on which we rely, has no choice but to increase our rates to be able to afford to comply with regulations. Next time you wonder why our delicious compost costs so much, know that a large part of that cost goes to making our processes cleaner, albeit more expensive.
Photo credit: AgAlert/Caleb Hampton
Our compost facility is a great place for your food waste to end up, but it’s even better if food never becomes waste at all. Produce gleaning is a great practice where ambitious individuals find fruit and vegetables that would otherwise rot on the vine and put it to good use. Farm to Pantry does just that. In addition, Farm to Pantry hosts community gardens to help feed those in need. Cold Creek Compost happily donated some compost to help their community gardens thrive. If you’re feeling generous, you might consider donating as well. I hear they love volunteers, too…
This article highlights an exciting pilot project on the financial benefits of carbon sequestration through compost application. The Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District (RCD) conducted the project to explore the potential of compost in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. The results were impressive, demonstrating that compost can significantly reduce the costs of fertilizers and other inputs while improving crop yields. This is great news for farmers and anyone interested in sustainable agriculture practices as it provides a cost-effective solution to address pressing environmental issues. On top of all that, this is yet another source of funding to help you get better crops for less money.