Handouts are posted below
2016 Summer Meeting
Friday August 5th
C O M P O S T
Turning Waste into Wealth
Bear Path Farm, West Whately and UMass Amherst
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Group Discounts available!
Bear Path Farm is recognized throughout the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts as a dedicated producer of high quality, compost for residential, agricultural and commercial applications for 20 years. But many people are unaware of Bill’s commitment to sustainable forest management; of the farm’s 50 acres, 35 are forested with a diverse mix of hardwoods. Bear Path Farm has been an official Tree Farm since 1984 and takes pride in the fact that its modest woodland is being sustainably managed under the guidelines of the American Tree Farm System and is certified as such by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). By meeting the rigorous FSC forest management standards, Bear Path Farm reaps multiple environmental benefits for its forestland as well as for the greater good.
In 2015 the compost operation transitioned into Bear Path Compost, LLC. The location remains the same; what’s changed is the addition of two new faces, Mike and Pete Mahar, as Bill’s new partners and owners of Bear Path Compost. The Mahar brothers also operate Poplar Hill Farm and have the same zeal and attention to detail that Bill has demonstrated over the last 20 years.
Handout: Bear Path Compost History
Mike and Bill will talk about their feedstocks and mixing & turning techniques; and they will open up and probe a few windrows for temperature. “Of course we have other things to go over, but show and tell is basically what our tour will be all about.”
Handout: Compost Use Notes
Handout: Compost as a Mulch in Ornamental Landscapes
Katie Campbell-Nelson, a UMass Extension educator and vegetable specialist at the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, will provide practical information on site, including a demonstration of how to properly collect samples for analysis and guidance on interpreting compost test results.
The residues-to-riches story will continue at UMass Amherst. Attendees will caravan or carpool to Lot 45; half-day parking permits will be distributed at the farm. Presentations and Lunch will be in Room 308 at Holdsworth Hall. See DIRECTIONS pages 4-6 for map, aerial and narrative guidance.
Geoff Kuter, President and General Manager at Agresource, Inc., will provide an overview of compost characteristics and the basics of the composting process, different types of facilities in the region (e.g. biosolids vs. leaf and yard wastes), the technologies and equipment that are used.
Handout: Composting Principles (slides) 2.9 MB
Handout: Composting Principles (for taking notes) 1.8 MB
Hotze Wijnja, an Environmental Chemist at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, has been involved with the development and implementation of the regulations at 330 CMR 31.00 promulgated in 2015 to address plant nutrient management. He will provide an overview of the regulations and discuss the implications of the requirements as they relate to the application of compost.
Handout: Plant Nutrient Regulations 1.7 KB
Handout: Turf & Lawns Factsheet
Handout: Information Sheet for Agricultural Land
A video will be shown during lunch: Low Cost Aerated Static Composting Systems for Small Acreage Equine Operations by Masoud Hashemi and Atakan Kadi of UMass Extension. Masoud Hashemi is an Associate Professor in the Crops, Dairy, Livestock, and Equine Program specializing in sustainable food and farming. Through a 319s grant funded by Massachusetts Department of Environment Protection, UMass Extension implemented two Aerated Static Pile (ASP) composting systems, also known as forced aeration, to manage livestock manure and bedding produced on Blue Star Equiculture Farm in Palmer, Massachusetts.
Geoff Kuter will make a second presentation after lunch about the benefits of using compost and how compost is being used, including non-agricultural uses such as site remediation, and low impact development projects including wetland restoration and storm water management projects.
Handout: Compost Characteristics & Uses (slides) 1.6 MB
Handout: Compost Characteristics & Uses (for taking notes) 3.4 MB
The event will conclude with the Southern New England Chapter Annual Meeting, which is open to all. FY 2017 Board of Directors election results will be announced. Other agenda items will include discussion of the 2017 Winter conference, long-term goals and the FY17 budget.
In the spirit of conservation, only the agendas will be provided in hard copy. Please print any information you want to have on hand.
Certificates of Attendance will be distributed before the Chapter Meeting; these will show the agenda to document 3 contact hours of professional development.
|8:30 a.m.||Sign In at Bear Path Farm and
pick up UMass Parking Permit
|8:50 a.m.||Greetings and Acknowledgments|
|9:00 a.m.||Tour of Bear Path Compost
Bill Obear and Mike Mahar
|9:30 a.m.||Compost Analysis and Interpretation
|10:00 a.m.||Caravan/Carpool to UMass Amherst – – park in Lot 45
Reconvene at Holdsworth Hall Room 308
See DIRECTIONS pages 4-6 for map, aerial and narrative guidance.
|10:40 a.m.||Greetings and Acknowledgements II|
|10:45 a.m.||Composting Principles
|11:20 a.m.||Plant Nutrient Regulations
|12:00 p.m.||Serve Lunch|
|12:15 p.m.||Lunchtime Video: Low Cost Aerated Static Composting Systems for Small Acreage Equine Operations
Masoud Hashemi and Atakan Kadi
|12:45 p.m.||Compost Characteristics and Uses
|1:15 p.m.||Wrap Up – – distribute Certificates of Attendance|
|1:25 p.m.||Southern New England Chapter Annual Meeting|
|1:45 p.m.||Meeting Adjourned!|
Certificates of Attendance will include this agenda to document 3 contact hours of professional development.