The Composter, a podcast for farmers and composters, was created and is hosted by a New England composter, Jayne Merner Senecal of Earth Care Farm in Rhode Island. “The Composter podcast is a practical conversation between industry professionals and farmers with a passion for producing high-quality compost,” explains Merner Senecal. “We are going to dig deep into the science, technology, and art of compost production so that we as composters can help enliven the world’s soils. We talk about so many things, especially about challenges composters are facing with feedstock contamination.”
The podcast series kicked off with Carla Castagnero, co-founder and president of AgRecycle, Pennsylvania’s largest food waste composting operation based in Pittsburgh. AgRecycle, founded in 1991, was one of the pioneers in the composting industry. Other podcasts feature Nora Goldstein, BioCycle Editor, as well as the following composters and subject matter experts:
- Felicia Newman is the director of operations at Coast of Maine Compost headquartered in Portland, which makes high quality compost in many blends that are bagged and sold across the U.S.. She has a background as a chemical engineer and a deep love of farming. In addition to wearing many hats at Coast of Maine, Newman also runs a half-acre, no-till market garden called Three Dog Farm.
- Peter Wadewitz is a second generation owner of Peats Soils in south Australia. The company focuses on receiving, processing, and marketing recyclable organic resources in bulk and bag form. They have a 45+ year history in the creation of valuable landscaping, gardening, and horticultural products.
- Monique Digiorgio is owner of Table to Farm, a curbside organics collection company in Durango, Colorado, which has partnered with a local farm to produce compost. The company is six years in and has gone through a lot of hurdles. It collects food waste from 600+ residences. Table to Farm is in the process of becoming a Class III Colorado composter, a fully permitted food waste facility.
- Robert Rynk, Professor Emeritus, State University of New York Cobleskill, taught courses on composting, waste management, renewable energy, and agricultural engineering. “Bob wrote the On Farm Composting handbook over 30 years ago, which is the book Earth Care Farm used to set up its compost site many decades ago,” notes Merner Senecal. The sequel to On Farm Composting, The Composting Handbook, also edited by Rynk (and 900+ pages), was released in early 2022.