Growers Facing Supply & Demand Challenges for Growing Media

By Dr. Brian E. Jackson Once upon a time growers could call their growing media supplier(s) and have product ordered, shipped, and delivered within days. It is no mystery to anyone today that “those days” are gone, at least for the foreseeable future. The global growing media industry, like so many others in horticulture, has experienced unprecedented product demand which …

Green Vision Materials: A Model for Success in the Mulch & Soil Business

By Keith Barker Beau Gibney, CEO/COO at Green Vision Materials (GVM) based out of Newbury, Ohio, near Cleveland, began in the mulch and soil products business after starting his own landscaping company right out of high school, in the early nineties. Through that decade, he aggressively grew his business and found he was generating a huge amount of green waste.“I …

In-House ELDT Driver Training Solution Now Available

By Robert L. LaGasseExecutive Director Mulch & Soil Council “Do you want your children to grow up to be truck drivers?” That was the question posed by Philip Byrd, then president of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and Bulldog Trucking, when he spoke to members of the Mulch & Soil Council about the issue of a looming truck driver shortage.  …

County Expands Compost Efforts To Meet California Recycling Law

By P.J. Heller A new $8 million composting facility — designed to speed up the composting process by as much as 50 percent or more from its two existing sites — is being planned by Orange County Waste & Recycling to help meet California’s mandate to divert organic waste from landfills in order to reduce greenhouse gases.  When completed, expected …

Jumping Worm Threat To Mulch Still Without Merit

By P.J. Heller Wildfires. Earthquakes. Famine. Drought. As if life isn’t complicated enough with those and other challenges, along comes the latest concern: jumping worms. Jumping worms? Although the wriggly creatures have been around for decades in the United States, researchers are paying renewed attention to jumping worms (Amynthas spp.) as their population has exploded and spread and the effects …

Peat Demand on the Rise, Harvest Results Mixed

By Ken McEntee A pandemic-driven growth in gardening activity has helped to boost demand for peat moss. On the supply side, however, this year’s Canadian harvest has yielded mixed, weather-related results in the nation’s eastern and western regions, according to the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA), Edmonton, Alberta. In its annual report, based on a member survey about the …

Sheep, Goats Helping to Mitigate Wildfires

By P.J. Heller When the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District and Fire Safe Marin wanted to reduce the impact of wildfires in Marin County communities north of San Francisco, they brought in a unique crew from Star Creek Land Stewards to remove fire fuel. Some 1,200 goats and sheep from Star Creek grazed hundreds of acres, removing fire fuel including …

Mulch and Soil Producers Strive to Meet Labor, Transportation Challenges

By Ken McEntee Like most businesses across the country, mulch and soil producers count the inability to hire workers among their greatest current challenges, said Robert LaGasse, executive director of the Mulch and Soil Council, of Shallowater, Texas. In the wake of the council’s annual conference, held in September in Memphis, Tennessee, LaGasse said the national trucking shortage and supply …

Sale of Mulch, Soil Decline Unexpectedly

By P.J. Heller Mulch and soil sales, that skyrocketed during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, may have dropped to pre-pandemic levels or below at the end of the major selling season in May and June 2021. Coming out of 2020 with sales increases of 20 percent to 40 percent, there had been predictions of a significant …

Rust Belt Riders, Turning Food Waste Into Quality Soil Blends

By P.J. Heller The farm-to-table social movement – which promotes serving locally grown food at restaurants and other eateries – is being reverse engineered into a table-to-farm effort that offers benefits to businesses, government and especially the environment. Among the companies across America flipping the farm-to-table concept is Rust Belt Riders, headquartered in Cleveland., Ohio. It collects food scraps from …