Compost Manufacturing, Compost Use, and Marketing
Rod has worked with literally hundreds of compost sites on production efficiency, cost studies of operations, product development using different equipment to make product more efficiently in less steps, compost use guidelines, and compost marketing. After writing two books and several chapters in other books, Rod is uniquely qualified on all aspects of commercial composting.
Product and Market Development
Rod is an expert in product and market development. After inventing filtersoxx and developing Filtrexx International in 2001, Rod changed the industry to use compost filtersoxx to replace silt fence, provide erosion protection and use this product in 20 different low impact development designs. Rod pioneered over $1 million of private research to develop complete research based specifications that are used today in nearly every state DOT, USDA, EPA, USACE, NRCS and other state and federal agencies. By adopting these specifications, the shift to replace silt fence with compost filtersoxx has been an industry changing event. Rod sold Filtrexx in 2014 and in the last year with the company, they used over 2 million cubic yards of composted products for projects nationwide. Rod knows how to develop products and markets from the ground up with a bootstrap budget.
Small farms, or microfarms can be ¼ acre to 5 acres. The chief goal here is concentrated plant density with higher production than conventional Agriculture, while using regular farm soil, concrete, asphalt, or even rooftops. Using GardenSoxx to create these microfarms does not require conventional ag soils. The concept has been proven out in dozens of places, but most notably in the movie The Need to Grow. Now the average person can adopt these concepts after over 10 years of development to grow anything from a supercharged backyard garden to a microfarm that is involved in a CSA or supplies local fresh food to restaurants. Use last paragraph to add to this to finish out.
Urban Community Gardens
Community gardens are faced with using urban lots (there are over 15,000 in Cleveland and Detroit for example) to grow local food. However, these lots are often contaminated with urban pollution from over 100 years of industrialization, and the soils are sometimes considered a brownfield. These soils should not be used to grow food due to concerns with uptake of heavy metals into food grown on them. Rod has engaged the use of GardenSoxx over a weed barrier which prevents contact with contaminate soils, and they are portable so if the lot sells, the garden can be moved and repurposed.
Living shorelines have been increasing in popularity due to their integration with habitat, naturalization, and resiliency compared to other options like bulkheads, rip rap or hard structures. These other options are simply what has been common over the last 50 years and we have learned as a nation that severe storm surge causes more damage to these hard structures than the same storm hitting living shorelines. Living shorelines are natural, based on containment, reinforcement, and vegetation establishment to help provide protection against the worst storm events and still be there after the surge is gone.
Conclusions: Rod has developed a number of ways to use compost that previously simply did not exist. In addition, Rod has been President of the US Composting Council, a long time board member, Marketing committee co chair, Vice President, and involved in dozens of other industry related associations to promote organic recycling and composting. After nearly 30 years in the same industry, if we do not know the answer to your questions, we know someone that does!