We are a certified organic dairy, beef and vegetable farming operation. We transitioned to organic farming in 2004, and we began composting in 2005.
As our farm grew, our needs for compost grew. We became certified with ANR to accept food residuals, and the need for businesses to find a composting facility to accept their food residuals grew very quickly.
We have now outgrown our initial composting pad and we need to expand. For many reasons it is not favorable to increase the size of the current composting pad so a reasonabled approach to growth without increasing the footprint of the existing pad is an asp system.
In 2016 we concluded that our test mobile aerated static pile compared to a conventionally turned windrow would produce results of data collected that could be used industry wide to determine if a mobile asp can process raw material into finished compost faster and more efficiently than in a conventionally turned windrow. We built an electrical supply to our composting facility, erected a small building that houses our asp blower, timer, and related components. We constructed the pvc blower pipes that run under the compost which dispense the air from the blower.
We also constructed the asp itself and installed the data loggers created by James McSweeney from Compost Technical Services (our technical advisor) which will transmit data concerning the health of the pile including time and temperatures of the pile to determine when and for how long the pile reached and maintained 130 degrees. We also built the asp pile and have the entire system up, running and recording data.
We look forward to seeing the results of the asp vs. the conventionally turned windrow and sharing these results with interested parties.
Kingdom View Compost was created in 2005 and we began collecting food scraps from area food scrap generators such schools, restaurants, etc. These food scraps are mixed with wood chips and manure on our certified organic dairy farm to produce our valuable fertilizer. Over these ten years, the local program has grown from around 2-3 Tons/Week of scraps to around 12 Tons/Week. Our farm has worked to keep up, but the program is growing faster than we are, which has made the operation crowded for space and inefficient.
Our goal is to able to efficiently process our permitted limit of 16 Tons/Week, without continuing to build compost pads on our valuable pasture. We looked at several options in depth and with limited funding, we believe that we have found a solution that fits. We are piloting a low cost aerated static pile (ASP) compost system can potentially decrease the time, costs, and footprint involved compared to the way we presently produce compost. If this new approach works well, it could serve as a model system for others to follow, as it might allow a larger volume of material to be processed using a smaller area than traditional composting methods allow. We plan to host an on-farm composting field day in the spring of 2017, after we have had enough time to trial and learn from the system.
Unfortunately the initial asp that was built in the winter months of early 2017 and since our ingredients were frozen our pile never reached desired temperatures. Therefore in June of 2017 we dismantled the asp and built a new pile. Unfortunately this time we took the recipe too far in the other direction and our pile was too dry (partly due to the air being blown through it as part of the research) and never reached desired temps. To compound our problems four of our six data loggers became unresponsive and stopped transmitting data. We are sending the data loggers back to the manufacturer for evaluation.
We need to figure out why the data loggers became nonresponsive and we need to dial in the correct recipe for an asp that will perform correctly. We may need to formulate a warm weather recipe and a cold weather recipe.
When conditions allow in spring, 2018 we will build a new asp over the existing blower pipes. This recipe will hopefully be formulated to work with a blower system. We hope to have our data logger issues resolved by gthen as well.
If the data loggers prove unsatisfactory for this application we will reverse to recording observations and temp readings with a manual temp probe.