February 7, 2019

Composting Workshop Report

To receive a copy of the below referenced Composting Workshop Report, please email MHC Executive Director, Carrie Hull, at chull@mdhorsecouncil.org
 
In 2016, Justen Garrity of Veteran Compost and Peter Moon of O2 Compost prepared a grant proposal to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) for a series of workshops on composting in Maryland.  The Maryland Horse Council Farm Stewardship Committee provided a letter of support for the grant to promote composting horse manure.  
 
This year, 2019, with the grant funds provided by MDA, the workshops on composting are being offered to Maryland residents without charge.  I attended the workshop held on January 26 in Anne Arundel county in support of this effort and to promote on-farm and regional facility composting of horse manure to recycle local nutrients into our soils.

The workshop was attended by about 30 people.  It began with a presentation from Doug Myers, Senior Scientist at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, on the state of the Bay and the importance of minimizing nutrient runoff into the Bay watershed as surplus nutrients damage the natural ecosystem of the aquatic life.  Justen Garrity who founded Veteran Compost described his business development from growing up in Columbia, Maryland, serving the Army and, through trial and error and true grit, established a very successful composting business using primarily food scraps as feed stock.  He developed effective ways to collect waste food scraps from cafeterias, hospitals, sports venues and smaller establishments.   This material is then sorted, composted, bagged and sold, using mostly former members of the military.  Garrity sells all of the compost he produces so demand is good for the product.  

Peter Moon came to composting from an engineering background after a successful first career.  Based in Washington State, he worked to develop a simple composting method based on traditional principles while using scientific analysis and data to come up with 21st century composting methods that are scale-able, cost-effective and able to use a variety of compost-able materials.  Many of his systems are used for small, medium and large composting of horse manure, on-farm and at regional facilities.  The O2 system injects air into the composting material which speeds up the composting process and minimizes the need to turn the compost as it heats up to the required 131 degrees to kill weeds and pathogens.   O2 Composting systems are now used across the US and in a number of other countries.  A complete explanation of the system with extensive illustrations is in the attached presentation file.

Garrity and Moon will be offering more workshops on composting later this year.  Stay tuned!    

 

Veteran Compost 

 "Veteran Compost is a veteran-owned business focused on turning food scraps into high quality organic compost in Maryland, DC and Virginia.  We provide food scrap collection, finished compost, and a host of other great products.

We're proud to have a number of claims to fame:

- We are the only company in the region permitted to collect and compost food scraps

- We have a large scale worm composting operation

- Our compost is YARD WASTE FREE aka chemical free

- Our compost is 100% Organic and approved for Organic Farming

- 100% Wind Power used to make our compost"

https://www.veterancompost.com/

 

To learn more about O2Compost, visit www.o2compost.com.

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