In 2013, Hey Day Farm became one of the first diversified farms to use the Earth Flow composting system, as part of an integrated farm-fertility strategy. Ten years later, their system is still running strong and helping them build regenerative soils.
HeyDay Farm is a 25-acre high intensity farm dedicated to growing locally sourced organic produce, eggs, cheeses and meats. With the high cost of organic fertilizers and disposing animal manures offsite, finding an onsite composting solution made financial and environmental sense. Additionally, the local government mandates odor control and nutrient management for farms. Understanding these concerns and addressing them is key to the success of the farm.
HeyDay Farm chose the Site-Built Earth Flow from Green Mountain Technologies. The Earth Flow was built inside an existing 30’x50’ hoop house building to lower the capital cost. The vessel is 34’ long and 10’ wide with a capacity of 40 cubic yards.
The feedstocks include pig, cow, chicken and horse manure and bedding, the entrails from the slaughtering of pigs and chickens, and green waste. These feedstocks are added to the front end of the vessel. The auger shreds and moves the composting waste towards the discharge end of the vessel. The manure can be loaded by tractor or dumped directly into the composting bay or stored in an adjoining bay until needed. The compost is rich in organic material and is used on the pastures and gardens of the farm.
This technological advancement in composting creates a financial and operational success for the farm and allows the desired closed loop waste stream for environmental compliance. Farm Manager, John J. McGarrity, gives his opinion on the system and compost: “I’ve seen a lot of compost in my day. The labor (with this system) is minimal. It (the composter) does most of the work for you. The product is what really sells me on it.”
Former Farm Manager, Craig Skipton, adds, “here at the farm, 2013 has been an important year for implementing some critical systems to help us conserve, reclaim and regenerate resources. This reflects the farm’s deep commitment to the environment and our belief that there is no such thing as waste. Our state of the art composting system is one good example. We worked for more than a year with Green Mountain Technologies to custom design a system that will work with our unique mix of land, crops and animals to turn waste into rich compost that is added back to the soil in our pasture and croplands. Because of our careful care of the land and nutrient management, Stewardship Partners has certified HeyDay Farm as a SalmonSafe farm.”