ILSR’s On-Farm Composting & Compost Use Webinar Series features experts from across the industry and covers the ins and outs of on-farm composting and compost use. In the second of the series, Integrating Composting Into Your Farming Business, Ellen Polishuk, biological farming consultant, educator, and co-author of Start Your Farm, mapped out how farmers can add the production of high-quality compost to their operations. Over the course of 25 years, Ellen and her partners transformed Potomac Vegetable Farms’ Loudoun County farm from a 50-acre field of no-till sweet corn grown with herbicide and chemical fertilizer to a thriving, diversified organic vegetable operation. Compost that Ellen produced on-farm was an essential ingredient in this transformation. In this webinar, Ellen detailed the why, where, how, and when of adding composting to a farming business, including costs, equipment needs, tweaking compost recipes to help meet soil fertility needs, and how to apply compost.
This webinar series was offered in partnership with the Million Acre Challenge.
Speaker: Ellen Polishuk
Ellen is a first-generation sustainable vegetable farmer, holding a degree in Horticulture from Virginia Tech. A self-described “compost queen,” Ellen grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC in the 60s and 70s. She was born loving plants, collecting houseplant “pets” by age seven, and renting a garden plot at age ten. By age sixteen, a summer farming job marked the beginning of her agricultural career. Ellen worked for several years in the vegetable seed business in California. In 1992, with five farm seasons under her belt, she was hired by Potomac Vegetable Farms to manage their satellite farm in Virginia, fifty miles west of DC. After twenty-five years at Potomac Vegetable Farms, where she was a co-owner, she now consults and teaches full-time through her consultancy, Plant to Profit, specializing in sustainable agriculture, vegetable growing practices, and increasing farm profitability.
The live webinar took place on:
September 14, 2021 from 12:00-1:30 pm ET