Making Green Choices: Turning horse manure into compost

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 3:07 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Each year Country Garden Farms takes thousands of pounds of horse poop and turns it into compost for healthy gardens and grass. Every day, thousands of pounds of the poop go into landfills, but by recycling the animal poop the company is helping keep the waste out of landfills.

“So if we have, uh, several hundred yards a year that we compost instead of people sending it to the landfill, then we’ll have, over a 10-year period, that kind of adds up,” said Jacob Odegard, the owner’s son-in-law.

Odegard said most of their customers are from Anchorage’s Hillside area, which he said is home to thousands of horses. Horse manure can pile up fast and can get into the water stream and can cause a lot of damage if not disposed of properly. That’s where Country Garden Farms comes in.

“So there are a lot of people in south Anchorage that have horses. We just send them these big white bags, here,” Odegard says. “They will fill up the bags, and then we pick them up with our truck and bring them back here. Then we will compost them.”

All winter the family-run farm gathers large white bags of horse manure. Odegard said once the bags have defrosted they start making rows of the manure, and in around 12 weeks they will have something they feel comfortable enough to send to the lab to get tested before selling and using the finished product. They also mix in ingredients like wood chips and water to prepare the compost.

“So if we can take 600 bags a year out of the landfill, that’s pretty good,” Odegard said.

Country Garden Farms uses horse manure to create a compost for their farm and for customers.
Country Garden Farms uses horse manure to create a compost for their farm and for customers.(KTUU)

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