Re: request for (composting) information/assistance (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 16:07:32 -0800
From: Clarence W. Walker Phone/Fax 1-770-392-1313 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Andy Clark, SAN Coordinator" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: request for information/assistance
Thank you very much for your very kind and thorough response...I guess I
will soon have to plea for one of your grants to develop what I cannot
seem to find....a scalable, modular, safe, proven, manageable,
automated, reliable, easily implemented and replicateable sysytems
approach and implementation of organic waste composting that would work
across industries and applications with a wide range of organic source
material to assure a safe and QUALITY product for the
consumer....whomever. Maybe the following will give you an idea of the
areas that I am investigating:.......................................
I am particularly interested in exactly the areas that you
mentioned...the application of all safe and proven composting
technologies in the large scale processing of organic wastes. I would
certainly appreciate receiving more information from you and others
along the same lines that you raised...what is being done in composting
organic waste, how is it being done, what processes are being followed,
are the organics materials selected to achieve a proper mix of nitrogen
and carbon, are other materials added to augment the final product, is
composting selected to assure a safe and balanced product or merely to
reduce the waste volume, are there safeguards to assure thorough
compostin of all organics, is the process aerobic or anaerobic and why
do you prefer one or another, is methane a consideration, is the labor,
process, materials handling, blending and subsequent distribution geared
towards manual labor or the automated use of equipment and machines. In
other words I am SERIOUSLY trying to learn how composting is being
approached and implemented, who the key players are, the "state of the
art" and who builds what machinery and distributes what products to
serve the processes. Realizing these are a lot of questions I would be
very grateful to a thoughtful response from around the world and around
the industry to really learn what's what in commercial composting as a
waste management strategy. To date most of what I have heard (in the
U.S.) is a broad range of assertions, claims, speculation and hype that
seems to reflect much talk but VERY FEW well thought out and
professionally implemented systems that consider worker and public
safety, quality end products in terms of the compost produced, or
automated materials handling to reduce costly manual labor. THANKS FOR
ANY AND ALL FEEDBACK!
What I was
trying to get to comes from weeks of intense study of the web and going
to conferences in vermiculture, composting, organic gardening, organic
waste, processing, and sust ag.. However, with all of the many different
theories, authors, schools of thought, and sources of hype it is
difficult to get enough meat or unbiased, common sense straight talk.
For example, yesterday I was told two totally different things by two
separate universities regarding rock dust...one claiming it is essential
to the composting process and another uncategorically ststing that rock
dudts are useless in agriculture. Vermiculturists assert that worm
castings are the most valuable commodity in the garden and that you can
take raw pig manure and run it through worms to totally remove the
pathogens and add countless new minerals while improving texture.
Composters insist that worms lock up the nutrients, destroy
microorganisms, and result in a product that is less nutritive...if
anything. Other composters insist upon adding clays, rock powders,
extracts, innoculants and a very managed process while others still
insist upon quick working, in vessel, anaerobic waste consumption. All
is this is before you even get into bio-intensive, controlled microbial,
organic, bio dynamic, french intensive, etc, etc, etc..
My bottom line is simple, I am trying to determine what has been
in order to arrive at an approach or "sysytem" that integrates the best
of what we know...without hype or speculation......to approach a systems
perspective that in logical steps takes any and all organic wastes,
prepares them for composting, utilizes a proven approach towards
blending and preparing for the composting, processes the waste in a cost
effective, controlable, manageable, scaleable, predictable manner that
is at once fairly simple to implement without doctorate degrees in
microbiology, easy to replicate at multiple sites, and yet produces a
product that is totally safe, thoroughly composted, and well balanced.
I may be crazy, but this approach...to my mind...would cut across tur
wars and other boundaries to deliver a process/product that would
address agricultural/industrial/municipal/and environmental needs.
Please feel free to copy or forward as you may desire...I'm just trying
to assimilate what I have now spent several months studying! COMMENTS or
Are there current writings on a sound approach to composting and
soil development? Might there be a best text that is not for chemists or
soil scientist that still covers the best approaches and sound practices
from A to Z?
I have only recently discovered the "science" of biointensive
agriculture (a term I have used because I know of no other proper term
for this area of holistically approached composting, soil management,
and plant growth that includes all sound and tested uses of microflora
and fauna along with organic, composting, french intensive, vermiculture
and other techniques).
For over thiry years I have subscribed to my own techniques and ideas
but only recently noticed them being addressed professionally. I am now
extremely interested in developing a more professional and applied
understanding of applied methodologies that include well thought out,
safe, practical,and scientific/agricultural engineering techniques and
procedural methodologies from A to Z in terms of organic waste
utilization, composting, applied microbiologicals at all appropriate
phases and for purposes such as more rapid conversion, more thorough
conversion of difficult organics, nitrogen fixation, ammonia conversion,
etc. in composting and in soil innoculation.
In short, I have no false impression that I could become an overnight
soil scientist at 46 but I do have a strong interest in any APPLIED
systems, information, products,or equipment associated with soil, mulch,
tilth, and composting processes...especially when a synergy can be
achieved to utilize industrial, residential, commercial, municipal, and
agricultural organic wastes.
Having just returned from a four day seminar in sustainable agriculture
I was disappointed at how little is available here in the U.S. whether
in terms of information, proven products, or even in terms of machinery
that assists in composting mechanization, management, control,automation
or materials handling.
Should you know of any available literature or sources of
information on any of these topics, please consider me your all too
willing sponge... waiting to absorb all that is available!
Likewise, should you know of any sources for a variety of starters or
innoculant cultures or other microflora and fauna for the many aspects
or phases of composting/soil development/farming/waste processing I
would certainly appreciate receiving information and /or samples.
I have located a source of granite dust that is a derivative of
georgia granite quarrying operations that I would like to use in
composting as a rock phosphate.....Is there anyone that could
specify a range of acceptable grid sizes that would allow the
minerals to be accessable and broken down. The composting gurus
assert that both rock dust and clay must be added in order to "feed"
the micro-organisms and assure complete composting.
My ultimate goal is to master a sound approach to composting that
results in a well balanced, thoroughly composted, user friendly compost.
This done I would like to extend the process to all aspects of organic
Thanks for any and all feeding!!!!!!and...........
SO ANDY, As you can see, I am looking to achieve a synergy...taking the
best of the best of the many schools of technology, thought, and
industry to get the organics, process them properly, and get the compost
BACK into the soil in a manner that will maximize the ecological and
agricultural return....a systems approach that I believe could be termed
Again, thank you!
> The SARE program has funded about 1000 projects in sustainable
> agriculture, the results of which are available, in part through the
> Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). Sanet is one of the forums for
> sharing that information. You can also contact the Southern Region SARE
> program for results from that region. Ask for their annual reports.
> they are at firstname.lastname@example.org
> I'm going to send you several other files about SAN and sustainable
> agriculture. Note that we publish a Sustainable Agriculture Directory of
> Expertise, with over 700 individuals and groups who have information
> about sustainable agriculture. We also have about to be published, a
> Sourcebook of sustainable ag (which is the revision of the Showcase
> mentioned in the files I will send you. We are swamped with good
> information about sustainable ag. Please let me know if you need more.
> Andy Clark, Ph.D.
> SAN Coordinator
> c/o AFSIC, Room 304
> National Agricultural Library
> 10301 Baltimore Ave.
> Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
> PH: 301-504-6425
> FAX: 301-504-6409
> On Mon, 20 Jan 1997, Clarence W. Walker Phone/Fax 1-770-392-1313 wrote:
> > I have only recently discovered the "science" of biointensive
> > agriculture
> > (used because I know of no other proper term for this area of
> > holistically approached composting, soil management, and plant growth
> > that involves all sound and tested uses of microflora and fauna along
> > with organic, composting, french intensive, vermiculture and other
> > techniques).
> > For over thiry years I have subscribed to my own techniques and ideas
> > but only recently noticed them being addressed professionally. I am now
> > extremely interested in developing a more professional and applied
> > understanding of applied methodologies that include well thought out,
> > safe, practical,and scientific/agricultural engineering techniques and
> > procedural methodologies from A to Z in terms of organic waste
> > utilization, composting, applied microbiologicals at all appropriate
> > phases and for purposes such as more rapid conversion, more thorough
> > conversion of difficult organics, nitrogen fixation, ammonia conversion,
> > etc. in composting and in soil innoculation.
> > In short, I have no interest in becoming a soil scientist at 46 but do
> > have a strong interest in any APPLIED systems, information, products,
> > or equipment associated with such processes.
> > Having just returned from a four day seminar in sustainable agriculture
> > I was disappointed at how little is available here in the U.S. either in
> > terms of information, products, or machinery that assists in composting.
> > Should you know of any available literature or sources of
> > information on these topics, please consider me your all too willing
> > sponge waiting to be absorb all that is available!
> > Likewise, should you know of any sources for a variety starter or
> > innoculant cultures or other microflora and fauna for any aspects or
> > phases of composting/soil development/farming/waste processing I would
> > certainly appreciate receiving information and /or samples.
> > --
> > Industrial - Commercial - Municipal - Agricultural - Community
> > Waste Processing - Consulting Marketing & Distribution Services
> > 7500 Spalding Lane, Atlanta, Georgia 30350 Ph/Fax 770-392-1313
Industrial - Commercial - Municipal - Agricultural - Community
Waste Processing - Consulting Marketing & Distribution Services
7500 Spalding Lane, Atlanta, Georgia 30350 Ph/Fax 770-392-1313