Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Compost/Zero Waste Facility update

Some improvements have been made or continued since the first post about our facility. Take a peak at the pictures below...and enjoy! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or stop me the next time you are out at the course.

Here is the worm bin. The right side is filled with ~100 lbs of worms chowing on food waste. The left side of the bin will be used for storage later and eventually more worms as our population grows. The worms double in number every 90 days, so we have the potential to have a 1600 lb population after the first year!

Here they are munching away!

Jack-pot...the stuff we are after! This photo is taken from the vents in the front of the bin looking up at the bottom of the screens below the worms and their food pile home. As you can see the worm castings (poop) is beginning to fall through the screen mesh. This material will be harvested and used to steep our compost tea that will then be sprayed across our greens and eventually injected into our irrigation system for course wide applications.

The Earth Tubs take center stage.

Here is an over view of our facility. The building on the right is our pumphouse for the golf course. The silo on the far left was originally used as part of a gypsum injection through the irrigation system. That system had issues from what I am told as the gypsum would bridge and never truly worked to its full potential.

Our Zero Waste facility is newsworthy!

If you caught my post a couple of weeks ago or have been out to the golf course recently, you were ahead of the game. The Tribune ran a small blurb about it yesterday in the Buzz section and it has caught national attention. The USGA director of the Southwest Region came to our facility on Monday, by chance as he was speaking at a class at Cal Poly and since the small article in the Tribune I have been contacted by the Environmental Intitute for Golf, the GCSAA, Golf Course Trades, another blog called Turfhugger, and a few other interview opportunities. This is exciting and we are looking forward to sharing our goal and updates as the project plays out.

If you missed the article yesterday have a look below.

Three golf courses swing for zero waste - Local -

"The harder you work, the luckier you get."
~ Gary Player, former PGA Tour Player

Friday, May 13, 2011

Good bye to Seve Ballesteros. We lost another good man.

Check out these video feeds from ESPN. At the time Seve was playing golf we Americans did not konw much about our European competitors other than through the Ryder Cup matches, but I would bet that most knew who Seve was, now you will know a bit more about his importance to the game.


"The golfer has more enemies than any other athlete. He has fourteen clubs in his bag, all of them different, eighteen holes to play, all of the them different; and all around him are sand, trees, grass, water, and wind."

~Dan Jenkins, sportswriter and humorist

Friday, May 6, 2011

You are never amazed by the strange things seen on a golf course

Click on the links to these two videos to hear a bit about the strange happenings that golf course superintendents witness while at work. I continue to be amazed at the antics and things that I see on the courses, but it has been quite some time since I have been amazed or shocked.


My first head superintendent job was a small course in Indiana and I arrived at the course during the winter and noticed tracks up and down a number of the holes as I was driving in and recognized them as snowmobile tracks. During my course inspection that morning the driver evidently tried to make across what they thought was a safely frozen pond, only to find out that it was not frozen enough as the machine was in our pond on the 2nd hole. Using the plates we located the name of the owner and charged him not only with trespassing, but rather for damage done to the greens, fairways, and tees that he had ridden across and damaged.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Composters are on site!!

Our facility at Dairy Creek Golf Course is attempting to become a zero waste golf course incorporating normal composting with Earth Tubs, worm composting with worm binning, and compost tea brewing as the third component. We will be utilizing food waste from our F&B operations and combining that material with our green waste harvested from various operations among the golf course and parks maintenance practices. We will begin the process by composting and brewing tea to then spray across our greens with the intention of decreasing chemical inputs like fertilizer, wetting agents, water usage, and fungicides. Our ultimate goal is to utilize the tea for direct injection into our irrigation system for utilization across all 88 acres of our irrigated turf areas.

We are working in conjunction with a local non-profit named Environmental Protection Associates Inc. They have been the mastermind behind the facility design and have worked alongside of our staff to develop ideas and systems to enable our facility to do something bigger than reduce our inputs on the golf courses, but to reduce the amount of waste that is passed along and disposed of in landfills across the country. We hope to develop a system and set of protocols that can then be copied by other golf courses, hospitals, community living facilities, schools, and other similar types of operations. Below you can see some photos that have chronicled our progress so far. Stay tuned and I will keep you updated throughout this exciting project!

The composters have been moved onto the site. This is our pump house in the background.

Just another angle of the composter/pump house facility

We removed the fence to make room for the worm bins

We had a fantastic new arm of the Rotary International called Eco Rotary donate their time and energy to build these storage bins on site for us with the materials donated by Hayward Lumber

Another shot of the storage units

This will be the future site for the Earth Tub composters that were donated by Integrated Waste Management Authority

This is Richard a member of E.P.A. Inc. sanding down the worm bins for painting