Homegrown compost demo May 18 and available at Sandy River Recycling on May 19
FARMINGTON - Whether you run an established commercial composting operation, or a dairy farmer who wants to compost his manure, or are a gardener who wants to make her own compost from food scraps and weeds, or just want to buy some locally produced compost, the Sandy River Recycling Association facility off the Dump Road in Farmington will be the place to be on Friday, May 18 or Saturday, May 19, depending on your interest.
On Friday, a demonstration will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Saturday, an open house will be held and compost will be available for a small fee from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
On loan and in operation on Friday will be a portable rotary screen - a new product from Thomas Band Saw Mills in Brooks, Maine - for putting the finishing touches on a pile of compost, readying it for sale. The Friday demonstration is geared not only to SRRA, which is looking to buy the screen but also to statewide composting companies and area dairy farmers, who are also looking for the latest in small efficient composting equipment.
Plans are to have the equipment work on SRRA’s large raw compost pile on Friday and sell the finely screened, high quality compost on Saturday, May 19, during SRRA’s public open house, when SRRA’s Manager Ron Slater will give a talk on home composting and give a tour of the facility.
For the past five years, Slater has literally given away (first truck load) tons of unscreened compost to local residents from SRRA’s pilot composting operation. Now SRRA is ratcheting up, with plans to expand its fledgling compost operation five fold and sell a screened product for a modest fee that will keep the operation “sustainable.”
The current small pile – about 100 tons – that Slater manages consists of food scraps from the University of Maine at Farmington’s dining hall and the lunch room at Mallett School and manure from the Farmington Fair Grounds. If plans go according to schedule, next year’s batch of compost will come from local grocers and restaurants and it will be screened to perfection.
The event has been organized by Mark King, compost guru with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. For more information contact Ron Slater at 778-3254 and log onto www.thomasbandsawmills.com