The Eldredge Farm is a licensed compost producer and sells both screened and unscreened compost to the public. To order our product please call our landscape office at: (508) 760-2696.
The screened product is used mainly for lawn creation and garden flower beds. Here on the farm we use the unscreened compost for our vegetable growing beds. Our compost area provides for the environmentally friendly disposal for waste items reducing the impact on landfills and producing something that is valuable to our needs.
Compost is the stable, humus-like product resulting from the biological decomposition of organic matter under controlled conditions. A wide range of materials may be composted, but they consist of principally organic components (i.e. carbon-containing remnants or residues of life processes). The starting materials for composting are commonly referred to as feedstocks.
At Eldridge Farm our feedstocks are principally yard trimmings, wood chips, and vegetable scraps.
How Does Compost Help Improve Soil Conditions?
Application of compost to the land helps to amend and protect soils in a variety of ways. First, compost supplies nutrients essential to plant growth. Nitrogen is of particular importance because it is often the limiting element in agricultural soils. In comparison to that of many soluble inorganic fertilizers, the percentage of nitrogen in compost is low (usually under 2 percent). In some cropping systems, compost may need to be supplemented with fertilizers in order to supply all the nitrogen needs of the plants being grown.
Compost supplies other plant essential elements such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur and micronutrients to varying degrees. Nutrient concentrations depend largely on the feedstock used to produce the compost.
Compost is beneficial for more than its “fertilizing” capacity. It is highly regarded as a soil amendment because it confers many physical benefits to soil. Compost improves soil structure and tilth by lowering bulk densities, by increasing permeability and porosity and by introducing microorganisms which produce “cementing agents” (such as gels, gums, slimes, and other polysaccharides) helpful in binding soil particles together into aggregates. When amended with compost, clayey soils are protected against compaction and sandy soils are more able to retain water and nutrients.
Good soil structure is one of the best defenses against erosion, a considerable hazard in areas where soils are left exposed. Soil particles bound into aggregates are less prone to detachment and transport by flowing water. Erosion by run-off is also diminished by compost because it increases pore space, thus improving water infiltration rates. Because organic matter particles have relatively large surface areas (in comparison to other soil particles), their adhesive forces increase the amount of water a soil can hold.
Seasoned oak firewood is available for sale to our members.