Students in Solana Center’s Fall Master Composter course, sponsored by the County of San Diego, were treated to an excellent example of how composting can solve local waste issues during a field trip on November 3rd. The class visited San Pasqual Valley Soils and Konyn Dairy, adjacent businesses that partner together to make the most of organic materials.
San Pasqual Valley Soils is a large-scale composting facility that takes manure from the dairy and local landscaping wastes to create an array of OMRI-certified, specially-crafted compost and soil amendments for their clients’ needs. Forget turning piles with forks and muscle; at this scale, compost is turned and sifted with machinery that towered over our class and arranged in windrows several hundred feet long. Nonetheless, students learned how the same principles of aeration, moisture, and carbon:nitrogen balance apply to piles both in their backyard and at the multi-ton scale.
Konyn Dairy is one of two remaining dairies in San Diego County. The Konyn family led the tour and explained their efforts to make use of local food waste by sourcing feed for their cows including spent grain from local breweries, fruit and veggie pulp from juice manufacturers like Suja, and expired bakery goods. It’s a bit more work, but this allows the Konyns to both save money and keep several tons of waste from the landfill each week. The organic matter eventually becomes manure and then compost, which ultimately returns carbon back into our local soil.
Interested in seeing composting in action? Enroll in our upcoming Master Composter class in Encinitas beginning January 13 or in the City of San Diego March 12.