Webinar: Using & Selling Compost from Community Sites

Date: 22 Nov 2021 | posted in: Composting | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Are you a community composter or farmer wanting to learn more about using and selling compost from your operation? Hear about how to read a compost lab test and what constitutes high-quality compost. This webinar also featured a panel of community-based composters who distribute and/or sell their compost for specific uses. It is one in a series the Institute for Local Self-Reliance offers to support a distributed and diverse composting infrastructure that includes community-scale and on-farm composting. Participation is free for farmers and for members of the Community Composter Coalition!

A recording of this webinar is available.

The live webinar took place on:

Date:  Tuesday, December 14th

Time: Noon – 1:30 p.m. ET



Fee: $20

Free for Community Composter Coalition members! (use code CCC)

Free for farmers! (use code FARMER)


This webinar is one in a series the Institute for Local Self-Reliance offers to support a distributed and diverse composting infrastructure that includes community-scale and on-farm composting. 

For more information on our On-Farm Composting webinar series, click HERE

To view and listen to our past composting-related webinar recordings, click HERE.




John Spargo, PhD

Director, Penn State’s Agricultural Analytical Services Laboratory (University Park, Pennsylvania)

Penn State’s Agricultural Analytical Services Lab is a US Composting Council STA Compost-Certified Laboratory, that provides extensive compost sample testing. Dr. Spargo will cover the importance of compost testing for characterizing the beneficial physical and chemical properties of a compost, as well as for identifying potential problems with compost use.  He will also briefly discuss how to read test results and the good and bad indicators of compost quality.

Michael Martinez

Founder & Executive Director, LA Compost (Los Angeles)

Michael is a certified Master Gardener, a former elementary school teacher, and the Founder and Executive Director of LA Compost, a nonprofit working to restore lost connections to the soil and one another. LA Compost currently has 5 Regional Compost Hubs in partnership with food recovery organizations, local drop-off participants, and a farmers market drop-off program. Michael has over 8 years of experience building gardens and compost systems throughout the County of Los Angeles as well as other parts of the country. Michael has grown LA Compost from a group of volunteers collecting organics with bikes to a decentralized network of community compost hubs that span across the most populated county in the country. 

Shaq Benn

Operations Specialist, BK ROT (New York City)

Shaq joined BK ROT in 2019 as the Operations Assistant after completing high school at Bushwick Campus Academy, a long-time partner of BK ROT in recruitment. Since joining BK ROT, Shaq has grown in leadership. He currently manages the final stages of BK ROT’s compost, including sifting, managing storage, and compost distribution. Shaq also supports programming, BK ROT workshops and the Youth Leaders program. Shaq is from Guyana, is studying at CUNY, and loves calculus.  

Molly Lindsay
Director of Operations, Hudson Soil Co. (New York)Molly Lindsay is the Director of Operations at the Community Compost Company and Hudson Soil Company, a women-owned food scrap collection service and compost manufacturer based in the Hudson Valley of New York and Northern New Jersey. Molly has been with the company since 2014, its first year of business. She oversees general company operations, new programs, sales and marketing.
Terry Craghead

Worker-Owner & President, Fertile Ground Cooperative (Oklahoma City)

Terry is a founding member of Fertile Ground, a worker-owned cooperative, which is selling a variety of compost-related products and services including compost filter socks. Terry oversees business development of the cooperative and is currently focusing on development of a new composting facility. Beginning in 2017, in an effort to expand the market for compost products, Fertile Ground introduced the first locally produced compost filter socks in Oklahoma. Terry will share Fertile Ground’s experience manufacturing and marketing compost filter socks from a community composting perspective.

Brenda Platt, Moderator 

Director, Composting for Community Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (Washington, DC.)

Brenda and her team at ILSR are supporting community-scale composters via forums, webinars, podcasts, guides, policies, trainings, and more. In 2017, the US Composting Council awarded her its H. Clark Gregory Award for outstanding service to the composting industry through grassroots efforts. In 2019, BioCycle magazine featured Brenda as one of its organics recycling trailblazers. She has a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from The George Washington University.


Featured Image Credits (clockwise from top left): Hudson Soil Co. bagged compost (www.hudsonsoil.com), Fertile Ground Compost “veggie garden compost” and compost filter sock (www.fertilegroundok.coop); BK ROT compost (www.bkrot.org); LA Compost garden produce and hands with compost (www.instagram.com/lacompost).

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Brenda Platt

Brenda Platt directs ILSR's Composting for Community project.