On Tuesday, June 28, NOFA NJ attended an incredible workshop put on by New Jersey Farm Bureau and hosted by Chesterfield Organic Orchards as part of a grant from Northeast SARE. The workshop covered the basics of safely and efficiently composting manure, wood chips, and tree leaves via traditional windrow and Aerated Static Pile (ASP) composting. ASP composting optimizes the composting process and allows for operational efficiencies, saving time and money for farmers. Chesterfield Organic Orchards owners Sherry Dudas and Jim Kinsel are also experimenting with capturing heat from the ASP composting process and using it for supplemental heat in the greenhouse.
The potential to reduce expenses associated with higher fuel and input costs is more relevant and important than ever, as world events are creating intense challenges for farmers in 2022 (see this recent Philadelphia Inquirer article). Almost every seat at the event was taken and the diverse group included organic farmers, non-organic farmers, landscapers, nursery operators, and other food & ag industry stakeholders. As a whole, it is imperative that our entire farming and food community work together to find solutions to the crisis facing NJ’s farmers and, in turn, NJ’s food security. Thank you, NJFB, Sherry, and Jim, for hosting us and sharing your knowledge and resources with the community.
In addition to presentations from NJFB and Chesterfield Organic Orchards, presentations were given by Virginia Lamb of North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development, Meredith Melendez of Rutgers NJAES, and Sandra Howland of NJDA Office of Agricultural and Natural Resources, and representatives from the USDA, FSA, and NRCS were present with resources and materials.
NOFA NJ is happy to share the resources below, courtesy of the event hosts:
NOFA NJ YouTube Video on ASP Composting – Jim Kinsel provides an overview of ASP and shows his earlier model system (2021)
Compost Calculator – Easily calculate your compost bulk density, Carbon to Nitrogen ratio, and other data based on pre-loaded feedstocks and inputs
NRAES 114 – Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Engineering Service Field Guide to On-Farm Composting
NJ SADC AMP for On-Farm Composting – Agricultural Management Practices for on-farm composting set forth by the State Agricultural Development Committee
NJ GeoWeb – NJ DEP’s GIS environmental resources mapping tool that allows you to layer various environmental filters and find nearby wetlands, watersheds, and other property information; important for locating your compost piles, which need to be kept at specific distances away from bodies of water and other natural resources
N.J. A.C. 7:26A – NJ Administrative Code (statute) pertaining to organics recycling and composting (state regulations and exemptions regarding on-farm composting; see exemptions 12, 18, and 23)
Compost Record Template (and other FSMA resources) – For farmers who are looking to satisfy FSMA compost recording requirements
Livestock Mortality & Butcher Waste Composting – Rutgers Cooperative Extension Recommended Practices
BioCycle – Online publication dedicated to organics recycling since 1960 (formerly printed)