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The High Country's Finest Compost

Is Available for Commercial and Home Landscaping and Gardening.

 

How Safe is Rockwater Farms Compost?

Rockwater Farms Compost is the byproduct of a composting process that was developed to solve the problems of managing animal moralities. That means the compost does contain, along with composted vegetative material, the composted remains of animals which died of natural or other unforeseen causes other than disease.

The composting of animal remains does introduce possible pathogens into the process, but these are completely eliminated through the combination of time and high temperatures.

Time: The 18 month anaerobic (minimal oxygen) composting process itself coupled with an additional six months of aerobic composting and maturing time that Rockwater Farms requires before making its compost available for sale, for a total of two years.

The following table shows the survival times of pathogens

Giardia--1 year
Cryptosporidium--over 1 year
Slamonella--13-75 days
Campylobacter--over 112 days
E. Coli 0157--10-100 days
Yersina entercolitica--12-28 days

Sources:
Olson M.E., Goh J., Phillips M., Guselle N., McAllister T.A. Giardia cyst and Cryptosporidium oocyst survival in water soil and cattle feces. J. Environ Quality 1999; 28: 1991-1996.                       

Olson M.E., Interactions between Pathogens and Swine Manure, Prairie Swine Centre Focus on the Future Conference 2003 proceedings, Saskatoon, March 25-26, 2003

Study sponsored by: Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food

By aging its compost to at least two years (730 days), Rockwater Farms assures it is safe to use in any application including vegetable gardens.

Temperature: High tempertures reached during both the anerobic (minimal oxygen) and aerobic composting stages also assure elimination of pathogens. As reference, the National Organic Program requires that composted plant or animal material maintain a temperature between 131°F and 170°F from 3 to 15 days depending on the composting method used.

The following are data taken at three minimal oxygen (anerobic stage) sites.

Billy C. White Farms
April 22 - May 22, 2001
Temperatures taken by Chris White, Manager
100 - 800 pounds of pig added on average every three days
Lowest Temperature 140°, Highest Temperature 148°
Days at  140° - 2, 142° - 3, 144° - 3, 146° - 3, 148° - 19

Rockwater Farms
January 1 - January 30, 2005
Temperatures taken
Jay Carter, Owner
Lowest Temperature 160°, Highest Temperature 163°
Days at 160° - 16, 161° - 4, 162° - 4, 163° - 5

Warren Wilson College
November 3 - November 28, 2003
North Pit
Lowest Temperature 132°, Highest Temperature 132°
Days at 132° - 26
Middle Pit
Lowest Temperature 135°, Highest Temperature 137°
Days at 135° - 5, 136° - 14, 137° - 7
South Pit
Lowest Temperature 141°, Highest Temperature 143°
Days at 141° - 9, 142° - 10, 143° - 7

Berea College, KY
November 1 - November 30, 1998
Temperatures taken by Arwen Carter
Lowest Temperature 147°, Highest Temperature 155°
Days at 147° - 2, 149° - 1, 150° - 4, 153° - 2, 154° - 7, 155° - 14

 

The following are data taken during the "curing" aerobic composting stage:

Rockwater Farms
February 2 - February 18, 2006
Temperatures taken
Jay Carter, Owner
North Pile
Lowest Temperature 132°, Highest Temperature 138°
Days at 132° - 2, 133° - 3, 134° - 3, 135° - 2, 138 - 7
Middle Pile
Lowest Temperature 158°, Highest Temperature - 163°
Days at 158° - 3, 160° - 4, 162° - 3, 163° - 7
South Pile
Lowest Temperature 140°, Highest Temperature - 143°
Days at 140° - 11, 142° - 5, 143° - 1