Selling Bagged Compost

rims421March 5, 2012

Anyone selling bagged compost at their farmers market's?

I am a USDA certified organic grower that produces our own compost on site. It is made from horse and chicken manure mixed with bedding and sawdust, coffee grounds, and sea weed. It is composted to USDA organic specifications.

And is approved for use on our organic vegetable farm.

I have seen organic compost selling for as much as $8.00 per 1 cubic foot bag at local nurseries. What do you all think?

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bi11me(5b)

You may need to check with OMRI and your certification organization and state regs to be able to sell as a commercial product. I would start with whatever certification agency gave your farm its' approval, they should be able to guide you in the process. remember, too, that this puts you in a very different position in terms of your farms' liability, in that you become a part of the certification chain for other producers, and not just consumers. It increases your exposure by an order of magnitude, and may change your insurance issues substantially.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 11:07AM
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hatchingbunnies

I have sold compost in empty 50-lb feed bags for $8 at my market. (about 2 cubic feet, 1 wheelbarrow load fills a bag.) We sift it through a 1/2 inch screen and bag it up. It takes up a lot of room in the truck, so I don't take it often or much of it. But, it sells well during spring gardening season. However, since I started selling seedlings, every scrap of compost gets used at my place lately.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 11:09AM
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myfamilysfarm

We had a compost vendor at 2 different vendors, I don't think they sold alot. People needed to get used to the idea, by the end of season, they were still there. That says alot. I don't think they had any certifications needed.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 11:45AM
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andreaz6wv(6b)

At a farmer's market I go to, but am not a vendor at, there is a man who sells gallon size bags of vermicompost for $6/bag, I think. They may not even be that big of a size. I have no idea how well he does.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

Hello - Just looking through this interesting forum...

My friend's husband bagged up some manure and put it out by the front gate for sale on the honor system. He was doing fine, until the arrival of.....the State Weights & Measures people.

They were aghast that he had labeled the bags 50#, and they were a few pounds over! So he was given a cease-&-desist order, and a fine. He said he was allowing for some moisture, but they didn't care.

So, check it with the State out before you sell.

Sue

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 12:48PM
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myfamilysfarm

Yes, Sue, If you sell by weight, you must be accurate AND you must have a certified scale to weigh with. If you sell by volume, you still need to be careful and be sure that the cubic inches are correct. If you just say 'a basket full' then you are better off.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 3:07PM
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rims421

I checked with our Dept. of Agriculture folks who administer the farmers market's in my state.
It appears to be sort of a "grey area".
The way it was explained to me I would be required to have a label attached to the bag with the following info, list the ingredients i used to make the compost and our farms name. In addition I could not make any claims regarding the nutrient profile of the compost. If I abide by the above guidlines he saw no reason why I could not sell compost at the market. I am very pleased with the quality of our compost and think it would be a hit in the spring to sell some along with our certified organic heirloom vegetable transplants. I can't believe what the garden centers in my area are getting for a bag of compost.
There is no truth to the old saying "dirt cheap" anymore.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:49PM
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johnnyb_in_nc(7A)

My family farm makes goat cheese in North Carolina, and we're starting to compost our goat manure bedding. We are hoping to sell our compost at local farmers markets. One of the markets has expressed concern, and wants to learn more. So I am seeking precedents, examples of other farmers markets that allow sales of locally produced compost.

Rims421, can you share an update? How have your plans progressed? And where were you hoping to sell? (Name of farmers market?)

Myfamilysfarm and Andreaz6wv please tell me the locations where you have seen compost or vermicompost sales? What is the name of the farmers markets?

Thank you all!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2015 at 3:33PM
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cole_robbie(6)

I would rather sell an aerated compost tea. I am thinking about trying that next spring.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2015 at 11:49PM
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