Before you discard leaves and debris from your yard, one Vermont business is hoping you'll think twice.
These leaves, along with fresh food scraps and manure, are mixed together to make what they call black gold.
"It works on a lot of different levels to make your plants thrive," said Dan Goossen, the general manager at Green Mountain Compost in Williston -- it's part of the Chittenden Solid Waste District. The compost pros have been around for 25 years. You might remember them as Intervale Compost Products.
Compost naturally feeds soil and boosts its immune system. It also helps with water retention. "Compost, in order to work well, you need to have the right carbon and nitrogen mix -- enough moisture and enough oxygen to keep an aerobic process to keep all the little critters happy," Goossen said.
In order to make the living soil, billions of bacteria and microbes get to work breaking down the materials. "If you can maintain the ideal environment, they'll do all the work and turn what was trash into black gold," Goossen said.
To keep the microbes happy, Green Mountain Compost blows forced air from underneath. All of this activity generates a lot of heat. "It could be 20 below and inside the pile is 147 at the moment," Goossen said.
Instead of food scraps ending up in landfills and producing dangerous gases, these nutrients are put back into gardens and yards across the region. "When someone's at a grocery store, buys food, eats an apple and throws away the core, We'd much rather have that go back into the soil and goes to the apple tree and grows a new apple," he said.
A Made in Vermont product bringing food full circle.
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