Fall Guide

Compost Made Easy

An interview with Earth Care Farm's John Barth


How is compost different than loam or topsoil?
Loam varies in quality and content but is often low in nutrients and lacking in the qualities of healthy soil. Compost is a nutrient rich soil amendment made by utilizing bacteria, worms, and fungus to break down excess yard and food resources. Quality compost will eliminate any need for fertilizer while providing long-lasting fertility and increased water holding capacity. Our products are near neutral Ph and so amending with ECF Compost will provide a long term balancing of our acidic native soils in RI.

What is your compost made of?
We blend fish scraps, shellfish, manures from the Roger Williams Park Zoo and local farms, and food scraps from the Providence Place Mall and other businesses and schools with sawdust, wood chips, straw, and leaves. Our mountains of compost are kept aerated and this creates an environment in which the organisms thrive, building up heat that kills weed seeds and disease spores. This closely managed system and variety of ingredients gives plants all of the minerals and nutrients they need to be hardy and healthy.

Why should I use compost in the fall?
Our compost is screened to 3/8” and can easily be used to top-dress lawns with or without over-seeding. Flower and vegetable gardens will love a lay.er of compost as they are put to bed. This weed-free barrier will smother seeds trying to germinate in the spring, acting as a fertile mulch. Fall is also one of the best times for planting trees and shrubs, and adding compost during planting is the basis for a long and healthy life for your plants.

What does it mean to be a Wholistically Managed Farm?
Our practices of chemical-free farming and composting rely on the vision of natural systems as our best teachers. We can learn how to achieve the goal of high yield and quality while improving the surface of the earth.

Is the compost for sale?
Yes! We sell screened compost and raised bed mix by the half yard each, as well as bagged compost and potting soil. We also offer farm tours and pick-your-own rhubarb in the fall. Our bulk and bagged Screened Compost as well as bagged Potting Soil can be found at many garden centers and retail shops (see website for details). We have all of these as well as the bulk Raised Bed Mix available here at the farm along with garlic, rhubarb, and pick-your-own strawberries raspberries and flowers.

Earth Care Farm
89A Country Drive, Charlestown


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