Fall is in the Air…

…and compost is going in the ground. We say this every year, but fall is THE BEST time to apply compost to your orchard, vineyard, farm, garden or lawn. Most of us aren’t thinking about spring right now, but if you put compost down now it will be thinking about spring all winter long. It basically gives your soil a six month jump start on spring. All of the compost microbes, nutrients and biota will be assimilating into the soil over winter, making them ready for spring growth. Don’t take it from us, take it from some of our most successful farming customers who apply compost every fall: Zion Farm, Wildwood Farm, Tumbleweed Farm, Dalhe Orchards, Domaine Poullion and on and on….

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Compost Spreading – this spreader is available to rent!

In other news around the Hugger….after seven years we finally offer FULL BENEFITS (health care, retirement, profit share) to our team. It has been our goal for years to finally become ‘legit’ and offer a complete employment package and we are stoked to have it. We have been terrified of the costs, and the changing political environment but it was long overdue to rip the bandaid. Thank you to Karissa at BCI Group for getting us going.

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The team getting lined out on health care benefits

light and fluffy. green roof media for a local sauna project

We completed a number of cool infrastructure projects this summer including a 600 yard  custom bioswale blend for Wyeast Middle School, a rangeland reclamation and reseeding project for BPA, an erosion control project for the Indian Creek trail in Hood River and a green roof project.  We’re always thrilled to be a part of these sorts of projects.  They push us to expand our repertoire, meeting engineering specs by combining different compost grades and soils.

Additionally, we’ve been delivering a lot of compost to local schools lately for their garden programs–Lyle High School, Dufur High School and the Mosier Community School, to name a few.  It’s reassuring to know the youth of today are learning about the living soil web, getting their hands dirty and harvesting some nutritious veggies to boot!

Ironically, one of the first things we did after leaving our office jobs, was to build a new office (trailer). After seven glorious years of working out of said trailer, we are beginning the process of building a new shop/office building. We are loyal to our roots of working out of a $500 building with reused windows, floors and doors, but it’s again finally time to step it up. An element we are really excited about, is that the shop will use heat from the composting process to heat the building. We will share details and photos as things progress.

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the new shop as drawn by Tyler

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moving trailers to make way for the new shop

And, last but not least, we continue making compost 5 days a week, year round, things keep breaking, we keep fixing them, and progress marches on. Thanks for all of your support – we love seeing successes in your plants as we continue to grow ours (plant, that is).

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Garrick (et al)  working on a full face rebuild

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Kevin getting after it

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more rebuilding

 

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Donnie and Kevin sprucing up ‘the ole hog’

drying samples in the dirt hugger soil lab.

 

rangeland restoration at the BPA substation

 

mike from weitman excavation prepping for a hydro-seeding session.

keeping yard debris out of the landfill (by any means necessary)

solar eclipse 2017. 99% coverage at the dirt hugger site.

 

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Dirty by Design

When we first started Dirt Hugger in 2010 we found ourselves touring all kinds of local businesses and looking into their waste streams. Walking through fruit packing lines, climbing around hog boilers, and digging through dumpsters was a far cry from our previous aerospace careers, but it was a blast and gave us a better idea of what was happening in our community. In that process we happened across one of Hood River’s hidden gems, Tofurky, a company now so famous that Seattle’s mayor officially pardoned a Tofurky on Thanksgiving. This past spring, the Tofurky crew did a deep dive into their waste steam and put together one of the coolest videos/web pages we’ve seen on the topic. Take a look. Be inspired. Carry on.

Thanks to Erin Ransom, The Modoc crew, and Gary Huck! Nice work.

 

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