Why Choose Laurel Valley Compost?

Like Top Chefs, We Know That Quality Ingredients, Blended Perfectly,

Create MASTERPIECES!

Portrait of a female chef preparing a dish carefully

Compost can be derived from many different types of materials, including yard trimmings, food scraps, leaves, manure, and post-harvest mushroom compost.  In the previous two blogs, we discussed why you should use compost, and why you should use STA Certified Compost.  Here, we are going to explain the benefits of using post-harvest mushroom compost from Laurel Valley Soils.

Many types of compost are made using whatever unused products are available at that time, sort of like when your Mom would make soup from all the leftovers at Thanksgiving.  Creating Laurel Valley Soils Compost is more like baking your Great Grandmother’s famous, award-winning upside-down carrot, macadamia and bourbon cake.  It requires using only the finest ingredients and carefully following the recipe, as there are high expectations on the line!

Because our compost is initially created to grow fresh mushrooms, we follow a strict formula containing only the highest quality, purchased and inspected ingredients including hay, straw, recycled horse bedding, cocoa shells, poultry litter, corn cobs, and gypsum.  After the crop of mushrooms is complete, we take back the post-harvest mushroom compost, let it compost down some more, and then upcycle it as premium compost or repurpose it to create enriched topsoil.

So why should YOU specifically select Laurel Valley Compost? What separates LVS from the crowd?

  • STA Certified: which means it meets the quality and consistency requirements of the US Composting Council
  • PA Certified Organic
  • Stored indoors.
  • Screened and Dry
  • Consistent recipe = consistent reliable performance
  • DNREC and PennDOT Approved
  • Punctual delivery for wholesale clients
  • Widely distributed through garden centers for homeowners

At Laurel Valley Soils, we specialize in providing the exact product you need, including creating custom engineered soil blends.  Whether you are looking for straight compost, compost-enriched topsoil, or blends for bio-retention basins, rain gardens or any other need, we have the skill, expertise and experience to meet all your project requirements.

STA Certified Compost–The Cream of the Crop!

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Good Housekeeping, Energy Star, United Laboratories, USDA Organic.  These icons invoke a comfort level; a feeling of trust, safety and quality endowed on the products that carry these coveted seals of approval.

For compost, the United States Composting Council is the governing body which sets the standards for this product.  Like the certifications listed above, the Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) assures you that the compost products you are purchasing meet all the quality requirements set forth by the USCC by independently testing products on a regularly scheduled basis.

So how does the STA Program work?

  • STA Certified compost products are tested on a regular schedule, which assures the production of consistently high quality products.
  • Test results are completed independently by appointed accredited laboratories, and available upon request from, the US Composting Council and the manufacturer, for your peace of mind knowing exactly what you are buying.
  • STA products meet or exceed all related product quality and testing requirements prescribed by state and/or federal regulations, assuring you purchase a safe, eco-friendly product.

Because compost can be created from many different types of feedstocks, and with some manufacturers the components can vary dramatically from one batch to another, it is important to purchase compost that has been STA Certified.  You want to make sure that your soil receives a safe, healthy and nutritional amendment.

Here is where you can purchase STA Certified compost at an Eastern PA/NJ/DE metro region garden center near you, or ask your lawn care provider to apply Laurel Valley Soils Compost and Compost-Enriched Topsoil.  If you are a business interested in purchasing our products wholesale, please contact us at 866-LV-SOILS.

 

The Secret Behind Pinterest-Worthy Gardens

Smiling blond woman in the vegetable garden.

Think Gardens Like This Only Exist on Pinterest???

Not So! The simple, not so secret, secret ingredient behind robust gardens is COMPOST!

And don’t worry—if you don’t make your own compost, you can buy Premium STA Certified Compost at your local Garden Center.

Adding compost to soil provides the following benefits:

  • Increases the organic matter content of your soil
  • Improves soil structure allowing for both better percolation and moisture retention.
  • Adds organic nutrients
  • Stabilizes pH
  • Improves disease resistance
  • Supplies beneficial microorganisms, bacteria and fungi
  • Increases soil’s cation exchange capacity, helping the plant to absorb more nutrients from the soil

As a reminder to apply compost to improve the health of soil and the plants it grows, The US Composting Council has developed the “Strive for 5” Campaign.

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Most native soils contain between 1-3% organic matter, which is too low to grow!

Increasing SOM (Soil Organic Matter) to 5% or higher provides the benefits outlined above, and creates the ideal conditions to grow beautiful and healthy lawns, turf, flowers and vegetables.  And to top it off—applying just 2” of compost in lieu of the traditional 6” of topsoil can reduce project material cost by up to 2/3!  Now you know why it is referred to as “Black Gold”.

To celebrate the beginning of International Compost Awareness Week, (ICAW), here is a cool video featuring Joe Lamp’l, host of Growing a Greener World, discussing the benefits of using compost in your yard.

Need Help?  Have questions?  Have photos of you compost projects?  Contact Us!

We’re Taking Compost to New Heights–95 ft Above Chestnut Street!

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Cira Green, Philadelphia’s first elevated public park and first blue-green roof, is a 1.25 acre park located on top of Cira Centre South in University City, which sits ninety-five feet above street level!  The oasis was built on a parking garage roof which overlooks Center City, University City and the Schuylkill River, and is an integral element in developing the Schuylkill River Greenway. The roof is both “blue” and “green,” with the blue roof  located under the paved walking areas to provide storm water management by capturing rain water which is then directed to irrigate the planted “green roof” areas.

Laurel Valley Soils was founded in 1979 by a handful of the nation’s leading mushroom growers who had the foresight before “sustainability” was a hot keyword to realize the opportunities available for upcycling their abundant, high organic matter, post-harvest mushroom compost. “Mushroom farmers from around the world visit our 120 acre facility located in the Mushroom Capital of the World to learn how to emulate our state-of-the-art practices.  We feel great pride to be leaders not only in mushroom compost production but environmental stewardship” notes our own Joseph DiNorscia, Manager of Laurel Valley Soils.

450 cubic yards of our “black gold” was blended into the growing media provided by rooflite® and used for Cira Green’s various green roofs as well as lawn areas and planters containing trees and perennials.

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When selecting a location to kick off the nationally-focused 2016 International Compost Awareness Week being held May 1-7, 2016 and features the theme: Compost – The Soil and Water Connection,  the “blue” & “green” Cira Centre South was the perfect choice.  Events, including tours and education highlighting the benefits of incorporating compost into the engineered soils required for green roof projects are scheduled nationwide throughout the week.

DiNorscia, in conjunction with The US Composting Council (USCC), The Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF), The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and other notable industry leaders are kicking off the celebration on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 1:30pm at Cira Green with a summary of how this project was constructed and the role of compost in its success.

As a visitor to Cira Green, it’s hard to imagine that this complete aerial ecosystem is man-made and was previously a parking garage roof.  But one thing is for sure – with the warm weather upon us, it is proving to be a popular and dynamic green space in the city for all to enjoy!

Want to attend the ICAW Kickoff Event at Cira Green on Tuesday, May 3, 2016?  Contact me!  We would love to see you there!

Suzanne Longacre

Suzanne@LaurelValleySoils.com

866-LV-SOILS