Thanks to one of our resellers, Hanneman Forest Products, for sending us this snapshot of their new custom-made frame for hanging our McGill Soil Builder banner. You can make your own topsoil by blending Soil Builder compost with native soil at a ratio of one part compost to two parts soil, but for those looking for a soil prep short cut, Hanneman also offers a topsoil-compost blend to give plants a great start with a little less shovel work required on your part.
Talking Compost – blog index
An early rain shower left all the flowers and greenery glistening in the morning sun to welcome participants to the recent North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association (NCNLA) Landscape Professional Field Day at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. Our own Ruth King and technical consultant Ron Alexander were among the 340 green industry professionals who took part in the event. Ruthie says it was a beautiful spring day in one of the prettiest arboretums in our state, the perfect setting for the debut of our new compost sales tradeshow banners (behind Ruthie and Ron in this pix). If you’re planning to attend the NCMBC’s North Carolina Federal Environmental Symposium in Charlotte next month, be sure to look for our banners. We’re one of the event sponsors, and Ruth, Joe Belmonte and Brian Kelleher will be there to answer questions about composting and compost use and how both can help you meet goals and targets established by Executive Order, green purchasing mandates, LEED/Sustainable Sites and other sustainability initiatives.
NOTE: Some links have been changed/updated since the original post.
In the early days of the movement, when meeting goals was a simple matter of personal choice, sustainability was a lifestyle decision made by individuals and families with minimal influence on the larger community. But today, decisions about sustainability result in big impacts, because the people making those decisions do so on behalf of cities, corporations and countries.
As a result, sustainability is no longer about lifestyle choices – it’s about systems, the infrastructure upon which a sustainable society can anchor and grow. Sustainability has become a very large composition made up of many technologies, services and policies. Like the web of life, many of its components are interrelated and, sometimes, symbiotic. If one component is faulty, undersized or missing, the entire system suffers.
Organics recycling is a subsystem of the larger whole. Farmers, foresters and horticulturalists produce raw materials, turning the valve on a long and intricate supply line of goods and services flowing to consumers. At every stop, waste products are generated. When collected and used as feedstocks in the manufacture of compost, those by-products and residuals transform into soil amendments, growing the next generation of raw materials, controlling stormwater, conserving drinking water and reducing chemical use. This full circle is what makes it a recycling loop.
But even if the infrastructure does not yet exist for you to send your biodegradables to a community or regional composting facility, you can still make an important contribution to your region’s sustainability system.
How? Develop a management plan which calls for the use of one cubic yard of compost in landscaping and turfgrass management for every ton of biodegradable waste generated at your facility — be it a municipality, a manufacturing plant or a military base – and you will balance the scales for your operation. In so doing, markets for compost products expand, giving compost manufacturers competitive advantages in waste procurement. This allows natural market forces – not laws, taxes and sustainability mandates – to do the heavy lifting, and is almost always the faster, less painful path to progress.
No sleight of hand. No magic. No PhotoShop tricks. Just a customer’s snapshot of organic matter and soil microbes at work.
Left field amended with McGill SportsTurf. Right field — NOT.
Seeing is believing. Compost really works. Visit our products website at www.mcgillcompost.com for more information about compost and its uses.
Seeing is believing. Try it yourself.
Try a side-by-side test on your lawn. See the difference? Post your photos to our Facebook page.
Big names in the corporate world source-separate food waste for composting. Each time it happens, food waste diversion can claim a major victory.
And in this case, everyone wins, not only the waste generator.
Diversion enthusiasts applaud higher recycling rates and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Corporations earn green bragging rights. Everyone gets a sustainable management program for biodegradables.
Some high-volume generators don’t care about such things. They only want the lower tipping fee.
But they still enjoy cleaner air and a longer lifespan for the local landfill.
Yet the war against wasted organics is far from over. Businesses producing compostable waste in high volumes represent the low-hanging fruit. Their generation rates justify the cost of commercial collection for compostables.
But for everyone else, the economics may not make sense.
Commercial composters drool over the market potential of independent grocers, restaurants, and households. But without source separation and collection infrastructure, a facility could stand empty.
At the cart and bin level, a municipal plan to ensure route density boosts food waste diversion. Build that system, and the composters will come.
“Unbelievable” is what Matt Harder of Earthworks and Sprinklers muttered when he snapped these photos of a freshly-mowed soccer field with his camera phone on April 11. What was so surprising about cut grass? The Bermuda Riviera sod was installed on March 1, only five weeks earlier.
Before laying the sod, Matt broadcast two inches of McGill Sports Turf, tilled to a depth of 6 inches, laser graded, then followed by a pass with his handmade, 4000-pound roller. Matt told us growth was so responsive, the turf quickly grabbed hold of the soil and was well on its way to seam-up in just two weeks. “It rooted very fast,” he said. “The color came out in the sod really quick, and the sod took right to the ground.”
The decision to stick McGill toes into the vast sea of blogs was not a step taken lightly. With business blogs, a responsible return on investment depends on a consistent effort, or as a wise screenwriter once wrote, “do or do not. There is no try.” He wasn’t talking about blogging, of course. But it turns out this sage advice holds the key to success for bloggers and Jedi Knights alike, since a halfhearted effort does no good at all and can sometimes do harm.
Coming up with the right name for the blog posed challenges, as well. You don’t want to know some of the ideas on the list. People of sound mind and good taste would have been appalled.
But in the end, we decided to heed our corporate mantra – keep it simple – and just call it the Talking Compost blog, because that’s what it is. It reflects who we are – an innovation team of scientists, engineers and other specialists working to make composting and compost use the best choice for both the bottom line and the planet.
Welcome to our biodegradable world.