SPEC Releases Updated Compost Guide for Farmers in South Coastal BC

Vancouver, BC – April 18, 2023 – The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) is excited to announce the release of the updated version of the “South Coastal BC Compost Guide”, a comprehensive resource aimed at providing information to farmers about locally available composts.

Purpose of the Guide

The “South Coastal BC Compost Guide” is designed to assist farmers in making informed decisions about compost selection and its benefits for their farms. This guide focuses on the significance of using locally sourced composts derived from feedstocks such as livestock manures, food wastes, and yard trimmings, rather than imported or conventional nutrient sources.

“Farmers use this guide to help inform decision-making around compost purchases and application,” said Teresa Porter, Farmland Ecosystem Services Project Coordinator at SPEC, “they can read about important characteristics to consider, and implications for their farms and the environment.”

Why Local Compost?

The updated Compost Guide highlights the benefits of applying compost to farms, including increased nutrient retention, water retention, improved soil structure and aeration, as well as increased abundance and diversity of soil organisms responsible for nutrient cycling.

“South Coastal BC has a surplus of nutrient rich organic wastes which are often composted and converted into useful products for soil amendment and fertilization,” said Dr. Art Bomke, Associate Professor Emeritus of Applied Biology at the University of British Columbia and long time SPEC Food Committee Co-Chair.  “Utilizing these composts should be preferable to importing either composts or fertilizers from outside the region for agriculture and gardening”

“Given the dynamic nature of the compost industry in the lower mainland, we have updated the information on local composts to enable farmers and gardeners to make informed decisions about what to purchase for their specific situations” added Dr Bomke.

SPEC aims to promote nutrient self-sufficiency in local agriculture, as excess nutrients in the region, when left unused, can cause environmental problems. The “South Coastal BC Compost Guide” serves as a practical tool for farmers to make informed decisions about compost selection and utilization on their farms.

“The last compost survey was conducted in 2019, and the suppliers have changed since then”, said Teresa, “I’ve received several emails requesting that we update our guide, so I know that it will be used!”

Access the Guide

The updated “South Coastal BC Compost Guide” is now available for download on SPEC’s website at www.spec.bc.ca/compostguide

If you would like to be part of the SPEC team and make a difference in your community, consider attending a SPEC Food Committee meeting on the second Tuesday of the month from 5:30-7pm. If you support the work we do and want to see more support for local small-scale farmers in Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, please consider donating at www.spec.bc.ca/donate

About SPEC

The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) is a non-profit environmental organization based in Vancouver, BC, dedicated to promoting sustainability and environmental conservation through education, advocacy, and action. With a history dating back to 1969, SPEC has been a leading voice in addressing various environmental issues and promoting positive change in local communities.