Saturday, September 6, 2008

Contacts and COMPOST!

Over 40 people showed up on August 23rd to listen, learn, and ask questions about their favorite knotty issue. Yours Truly got up to speak about this demo site, and then other presenters led discussions on the chemical methods of dealing with the plant. On-site demonstrations were held to show folks who might not know what this plant looks like, and then how to apply the herbicides using both the backpack-sprayer method and the cut-and-dab method.

One fabulous contact I made there was Bruce Herforth, who owns and operates Compost Solutions in Weston. He does other work, and seems to be a jack-of-many-trades; he was interested in the bags of knotweed that have been sitting in my backyard since last spring, when we first cut the demo site. After bringing me out to collect some rocks donated by Gurney Brothers Construction (which we'll use to hold down the rest of the landscape tarp), Bruce and I loaded his trailer with the bags from my yard. Much to my surprise, almost all the knotweed material had been transformed into...mulch. Dirt. Just about soil!

Bruce opened a bag and dug his hand in to feel the texture. He has this to say: "Decomposed knotweed is a good source of carbon and organic matter. It can be added to a compost bin or used directly as a soil amendment. Mix one part decomposed knotweed or compost with two parts native soil to a depth of six inches."

Needless to say, I am thrilled to have the bags gone, and excited that the decomposed material inside has a use! This was just about 15 months after the knotweed was put inside the bags, green and fresh. Many thanks to Bruce -- wear your BRAT t-shirt proudly, my friend, and look for Compost Solutions on next year's model!

Bruce Herforth can be reached at 10 Landgrove Road in Weston, Vermont 05161 and via email at

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