View Full Version : compost set up continued:

08-27-2008, 09:30 PM
OK, so I took a break from my compost, kind of shut it down in a way, to get a "sure thing" ready for next year as we are expecting a large influx of customers many times more than we currently have.

Here is where I left off...

I had found a horse farm with REALLY good old aged horse manure, years old that is, well finished, very fine(?). The best stuff I have seen, I will put it that way. It still seemed to have some carbon in it so I took some of my left over N from the compost center from previous attempts and mixed it in hoping it would finish itself pretty quickly... if nothing else to help off set the carbon that was possibly there and still have N for the lawn if I were to put it down. I have not used it yet... just kind of mixed it and left it sitting.

NOW... I am back at it again... I will try to break it down into different sections...

OK, so unofficially I still have this larger horse farm that I have a small pile going on and access to much larger piles. I don't really like the idea of doing all my work on their site as they could at any time ask me to stop and leave. Then I would be out a place to work in the middle of the season with my luck. SO I want to find me a lot somewhere, maybe an acre? and then not only can I have a great open place to make my compost but can also start taking green waste to incorporate it into my compost. Especially with leaf season around the corner. So that will be brought up with the next business meeting.

The last time I put down a compost I did it using a wheel barrel and scoop shovel, it did all right, took me a minute to get that right "fling" of the wrist... no scratch that, the whole body, to get the compost to fly out and scatter properly, it took a while and I was wooped by the time I got done. That is when I stopped and told myself I had better work on a backup plan before next spring when we expect to take off. So off to the drawing board I went and came up with a bagged product to use in the mean time. Now, after some conversing with friends I was pointed to a spreader that I really like the looks of, watched a video or two of it and I like it's potential and the price isn't something that will set me back too far. Still have to bring it all up in the next meeting.

So that is where I am currently, need a place to make my compost and a way of spreading it evenly and uniformly, OH, and need a good dump trailer too... but that can wait as well...


Next thing to do is work on finding a peice of land to make the compost. I have a feeling it may be a little out of town but I wouldn't mind, then again there may be a place in town, maybe a horse farm that is struggling and can give me an acre to rent from them so I don't have to travel too far. Then I can advertise it as a dumping ground for landscapers and watch the money flow in. At first I will do a majority of the work by hand, maybe rent a bobcat on the weekends to turn the piles and save my money to buy one myself. Then a dump trailer to transport things around both on site and to the job sites.

Got to get a spreader, I think they are about $6000? So not too bad considering... the dump trailer... I don't know, I may go small, maybe I can find a landscaper I can work a deal with to let me borrow until I can afford my own? I don't know how that would work, maybe during the winter but next spring I would definitely need my own.

I have a lot of the smaller stuff to make a smaller screen, 55 gal drums, screens, need a motor and frame, that will come in time... then after I get my small one up and running and make a few bucks off the dumping? Then I can take a trip to a place where I believe some larger scale screens are available.

After that what is left? Hmmm... OOOO my favorite I think... WORMS!

Here is the plan, kind of in the process as well of getting this up and running, start small, just large enough to get enough to get my CT up and running. Start with 45 gal storage boxes from HD? Then go from there?

CT(Compost Tea):
On the list, kind of a little itemidated with this one, but I think all the stuff I am reading is more of an overkill. I am sure I will be paying a consulting fee on this one, LOL, probably on everything:dizzy:... but this one for sure...

Any thing else?

OH right, CHRISTMAS LIGHTS! I hear there is money in this! I am also starting to work on this as well, I am bringing in a buddy to help with this as my electrical skills/ contracting skills are limited. You ask me to wire something straight up and... well, I won't do it... but you show me and I got it. I just can't compute wiring especially for some reason. So I thankfully know my limitations...

Wow... thats a lot of stuff to do...

OH yeah... one more update... FINALLY got my scheduling down and under control, there are still a few little bugers that don't want to stay on the schedule in the computer for some reason but the good thing is I am small enough to be going down the road and think... OH there is one there thats not on the list... or like last night lying there trying to sleep and "CRAP, I missed one!" Just glad I got this under wraps now and not next spring... :wall

THANKYOU JENNIFER! (she's who I brought on to get my books under control)

Life is so much easier now!

08-27-2008, 10:41 PM
deep that small screen we have is for worms, it takes all day to do a small bed, look for some thing that will screen with a bob cat loading...................

08-27-2008, 10:57 PM
I think I might know where I can find something like that... Wood-tech has a monster down the street... but I doubt they would be willing to just let me borrow it for a few days... you know, shut down their whole operation and all to help out their competition...

08-27-2008, 10:57 PM
the last one is the best.LOLOL







08-27-2008, 11:02 PM
yeah, I think that last one is the way to go... a truck load would take me what? A few years to get going?

08-27-2008, 11:02 PM
why do you think the show off of show offs has not tipped her hand about the screen???? 350 tons??? maybe I have messed around long enough to find a idea that works?? and also it takes 2 sheets of metal for one unit, this has to move!!! time is money!!! lets see 6 minutes per ton on 300 tons, that means we savedx$ just on the correct setup.

08-27-2008, 11:40 PM
the brewer was the same, we F'ed around with barrels and this and that, what a waste for a real operation, so one day we set to work on a good solid plan, no try this and that just real planing!! then we ordered the parts and tank, put it together and ran it, yes the tinkering with the small ones was real fun and educational, and we support the diy crowd, we are the founders it seems. but there comes a time and place for tinkering and a time for getting it correct.

a tractor is going to be your cheapest way to go about you manure operation, pto and all. with tha you can you a tiller, chipper and whatever you want!!!

new mantra from the tree, do it the correct way the first time, new facility, new needs and the realization that small is not what i want. I almost wish I had the first year back from the past, we started so small that every leap forward was a step up, ned size next machine so on an so fourth. now tha we have set up another carbon copy of the current operation, and seen how smooth it went, wow.

no cuts on drums and burns from welding, no 4 motors to get the size we needed, no 6 bins of spent pvc from all the brewer experiments( aka the disaster years). we even have dumped the idea of the plastic tubes(if it ain't 50 yards its just playing in the mud!). we hit the wall so many times, ply wood worm beds and barrels, the barrels are a joke for 200 lawns, what was i thinking!!!! small pumps and small regen blowers, what just to get 2 or more to do what a 30% more costly unit would do to begin with.

let me tell you about last year 07 woke up one morning to the sound of lips being smacked, WTF??, it was the sound of the worms. the small brewer was a day and night thing to run, (finish , clean, re start) 24/7/365. we had a hit and miss supply of compost, mostly miss. and we did not know how to get past the limits of our operation, so we took the jump into the large bays, financing to the hips!! and dangerous ground!!! we almost got hit hard. that is past us now. and i made a killing.

now today, more refined.

larger space closer to cows and horses. cheaper cost to operate( larger volume ) and a lot less stress, we have assigned task to different people, at different places. not a one man/gal band. no more trying to do it all my self( Bill hit it on the head about the 20 hours of sleep) the machine work and welding for the new screens is farmed out, to a machine shop. the tea brewers are all by them self's in town. the compost spreading we have added machines to do the work, yes 6K more or less, although we are trying to get a machine spec-ed out for less( application specific to organics).

the point of this all is better planing will save some cash in the long run....you almost got me jealous about the ease you are getting your operation together. and you are wise to take your time, just don't wait till spring and hit the wall.

08-27-2008, 11:56 PM

when will your web site be up? i really want to see what you guys are offering
let me know.

08-27-2008, 11:57 PM
all this happened a few months ago, we found a pic of one of the largest organic company's in the us, it was of the founder standing over a tub/HD tote making compost tea, like 45 gallons or something, anywho, now this same guy is extracting 3500 gallons per day in the first part of the morning. that's what sent me into over drive. that and we lost our cheap labor here, so no more pay some dude all day to screen compost( it still only cost 6$ per yard)now we are going to hit a button and watch it flow into the dump trailer.

you keep saying 300, that's just were we hit the wall.......

08-27-2008, 11:58 PM
the site goes on line sep 1, it will be real neat, one side for the home owner and one side for the pros. the Estore will come sept 20

08-28-2008, 12:00 AM
just don't wait till spring and hit the wall.

That is what hit me square in the face with that last compost job... yeah, I can handle what I got, A LOT of work, but it could be done. BUT, then throw in all the other stuff and plans going on and it just isn't going to cut it. So I got the back up, bagged, plan going right away. I feel a lot better now and the "rush" is off my back. Now I can take my time and do it right without being rushed. It is costing me to do the "bagged" way but I think it will be worth it in the long run.

Now that I have that under control I have to get a meeting together with the "others" to see how the finances are going and what we can get together a possible peice of property somewhere. I think I may be able to get a deal from a farm with extra space(?), I don't know if that is technically possible but I am hoping with the down times people will be willing to budge, to put my operation on for the time being. I have my old FD friend who is now "retired" that I could get to operate the site while I am working for minimal pay? Not to be cheap but he is retired and I need someone to sit there and keep an eye on the incoming trash, so I think he would be the perfect candidate.

Get a screen up here to start screening... maybe "rent" the farms tractor on the weekends to turn the piles until I can get something else of my own... then I should be in business right? I could set up the worms in my parents back yard under their barn and probably run the brewer there as well, just have to run power out to it...

got to find me a dump trailer... I guess my good ole scoop shovel will work for now until I can save up some cash... never have been afraid of hard work... the next thing after that... a good spreader.

Then we should be on the move!

How hard is it to compost during the winter... yeah yeah... let me refrase that... how hard would it be to compost in a North Georgia winter? :p

08-28-2008, 12:05 AM
you keep saying 300, that's just were we hit the wall.......

that is not what I want to hear... that is where the "bagged" process will come into play I am sure...

I like to think that 300 is being nice... I am bringing on a second guy, good worker, GT grad, all that good stuff, and should have a second truck running before this next app.

Well, lets put it this way... we want to hit 300 before the end of this year! That seems a little big to me... but you never know... :D

But seriously, 300 next year, if it was anything like this year, and we can get the compost running and lower the prices, that is more than feasible and MAYBE, I am sure with your help tree, 300 will just be a little stoop we step over.

08-28-2008, 12:06 AM
not that bad to compost over winter, that's going to be what you should do, its like ants in reverse. instead of saving for winter you save for spring!!!

lets do some idiot math, duh, 200 lawns x 2 yards of compost........... oh wait you said 300, shite..........thats my point thats what i want to bring to the table, a fix on getting past that 300 mark, after that its just #'s

08-28-2008, 12:10 AM
LOL, that is my plan... maybe if we can get the christmas lights going good then that can pay for the composting equipment this year, I don't know... but still the plan is to make compost all winter... then have a nice stash for next spring, enough to handle our projected future customers. If we don't hit that mark, which I seriously doubt, then I will just have enough to keep going and slow down operations accordingly. It would seem like waste would slow down to a trickle though?

08-28-2008, 12:10 AM
the other chick we set up down south is almost at 300, in one month, she hits 10-15 estimates/ sign ups a day!!!

08-28-2008, 12:15 AM
one more secret revealed, the new place we have is 4 acres!! rail, barge and interstate access. now this is the shocker. it only costs 100$ per month, 3 year lease with a way out at any time!! yes its 21 miles from the city, thats not an issue

08-28-2008, 12:16 AM
that is what I was doing this past spring, my phone would not stop and I was WAY behind on timing. I have been recieving about 4 phone calls a week lately, I don't know what is getting people going all of a sudden but I will take it. A lot is trash yards that I can't do much with until next spring... but I will still take them.

We started late April early May? And we hit 50 in a few weeks, then it all slowed, but there is no telling how many estimates I gave out... this is after having a maintenance company for 3 years and only hitting 35 customers total. I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off! That is mainly why my books have been screwed up for so long... it took me forever to get it all under control... well it took my new lady 20 hours straight to get the schedule done properly, JUST the schedule! not to mention all the other goodies that need to be done. And there are still a few that are running around like little devil children that the computer can't seem to keep on a schedule. But that is being handled as well.

08-28-2008, 12:17 AM
one more secret revealed, the new place we have is 4 acres!! rail, barge and interstate access. now this is the shocker. it only costs 100$ per month, 3 year lease with a way out at any time!! yes its 21 miles from the city, thats not an issue

$100/month!? You lie! There is a building right?

08-28-2008, 12:29 AM
yes its an old steel building, older part of town, the way we worked it was the zoning was commercial+, and the tax was real high, after a fast re zone to ag the owner saved loads on tax and had to pas that along to us, we also have to maintain or tear down the structure, we are maintaining it. and the property needs to be cleared and mowed, on my dime of course, but no joking about it, the guy said make an offer and that's what came out my little mouth, just blurted it out, and he did it!! total after all this year will be about 3500$ to run it in total......

the real estate market is in the compost heap!!!!! there is 5 acres in canton foreclosure for 32 K this like 600 a month you own it.

damn bro you came up this fast at your age and still have the skittish ness about money, yeah kids will do that.

08-28-2008, 12:40 AM
just think 400K for college, and braces and .....

08-28-2008, 01:05 AM
the site goes on line sep 1, it will be real neat, one side for the home owner and one side for the pros. the Estore will come sept 20

cool, can't wait to see it! good luck !payup