Fern Hill Compost started as the manure management system for Fern Hill Farm, a business that breeds Thoroughbred horses for the race track. The horse operation had generated a large accumulation of manure which, not being the primary focus of the farm, simply decomposed into the earth with no real attention being paid. In recent years we became more concerned with the environmental impact of uncontrolled decomposition on the ecosystem.
Based on consultation with the firm of O2Compost, the composting facility was constructed in the summer of 2009 adjacent to the farm’s horse barn. As we worked with the process of controlling the decomposition of stall cleanings, we have been able to maximize the benefits of this organic material conversion, while maintaining a very clean equine operation.
So while the primary purpose was to make manure management more intelligent and efficient, we were getting extraordinary results when we and others used the compost in our gardens, lawns, shrubbery, and house plants. We began bagging it and selling it through garden stores and by word of mouth. Frankly, the response has been fabulous!