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  Centralia Gives Away ‘Black Gold'

Growing up in the midwest farming area, the farmers would brag about their fields being ‘black gold’ meaning it was very nutrient rich soil. Well, the City of Centralia makes their own ‘black gold’ and it is free!   This ‘black gold’ is compost being produced at the Centralia sewage treatment plant.

Five plus years ago, I was frustrated with how poor my lawn soil was. Each year I would add more and more fertilizer and waste more and more water. While in Borst park, I noticed a pile of what appeared to be great topsoil with a sign saying it was free.  Liking ‘free’, I backed up my trailer and took a load home. 

I spread a half inch of this compost onto my lawn and within a week, it became much darker green and appeared to be much healthier. I applied more to my flower beds with the same result. The flowers were much bigger and prettier. I was truly amazed. 

The more I used, the better things grew. I’ve now tilled all of my lawns and mixed 3 inches of compost into the native soil and the results are amazing. I have the best lawns I’ve ever had. I don’t use any fertilizers and my water bill has been cut in half because of all the organic matter that soaks up and retains the moisture so much longer.

The following year, I wanted to try some of the compost in my vegetable gardens. Intellectually, I knew cow, horse and chicken manure is often used in good compost, so why not human manure. 

I talked with Travis G. at the treatment plant and he said that the sewage is treated for six to eight weeks during which it is mixed with small wood chips. Test samples are sent to laboratories every six weeks to insure it meets all of the state requirements for safety. 

I’ve been using the city’s compost in my gardens for the past four years and all of my vegetables and especially my strawberries love it.

You can load your own compost at Borst Park for free.  If you have a trailer; you can pick up as much as you want at the sewage treatment plant Thursday and Friday of each week and it only costs you $7 per cubic yard.  (Compare this with commercial topsoil that costs $35-plus per yard.) 

Key in “City of Centralia Compost” to get all of the information about this great product. Travis G. is the ‘chef’ that creates this great product. He will be out in the yard ready to load your vehicle.  Tell him you are responding to this article and he will give you a “smile and a thumbs up.”

(NOTE:  My title to this article is ‘Centralia Gives Away “Black Gold” in the event someone changes the title.)

 

Dale Luger

Centralia





 

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