Aaron Hetherington and Darcy Dore of Earth Land Sea Compost turn waste from local mills, fish farms and restaurants into rich soil for your garden.

Living local this winter will get your garden growing come spring!

Local business upcycles waste from Alberni Valley mills and fish farms into food for your garden

When winter sets in, many gardeners put up their feet and dream of spring, but professionals know there’s always something to do.

For Aaron Hetherington of the Alberni Valley’s Earth, Land & Sea Compost and Gravelmart, winter is a time to rejuvenate your soil and establish habits that will reduce waste and feed your plants for years to come.

“We offer a lot of value-added products that save waste from the landfill and put it to good use in your garden,” Hetherington says.

Residential composting program

With fewer distractions in the yard, winter is the perfect time to get in the habit of composting your kitchen scraps, even if you don’t have a good spot to put them.

Earth, Land & Sea already picks up commercial organic waste from restaurants in the Alberni Valley. Now they’re expanding to residences as well.

“You can either buy a bucket off of us outright, put down a refundable fee, or bring in your own bucket for a $5 fee. We’ll put a liner inside and you take it home.”

When the bucket is filled, just bring it back to the yard at 4716 Tebo Ave to empty and start over. There are just a few limitations on what can and can’t be thrown in the 20-litre bucket.

  • all kitchen scraps are accepted including plant and animal matter
  • paper wrappings from food are accepted but plastics are not
  • nothing with human waste like tissues or toilet paper

The program is just getting started, but Hetherington plans to use that organic material in compost.

“It will be a new product that we’ll supply down the road.”

Local business, local product

Winter is also a good time to lay down mulch and compost around the garden.

Mulch protects roots from the elements, so if you’re nurturing kale over the winter, snuggle it up in a blanket of mulch. Turning compost into your soil in the off-season gives microbes a head-start on aerating the soil and breaking down nutrients for use by plants in the spring.

There are many places to buy mulch and compost, but Earth, Land & Sea is an Alberni Valley business that strives to help the region by saving local products from the landfill.

“We make our fish compost ourselves, using waste from fish farms on the west coast and waste from residential fishers as well,” Hetherington says.

That means recent farmed salmon deaths from a naturally occurring algae bloom won’t go to waste. But Earth, Land & Sea doesn’t stop there.

“Our compost and mulch uses fir and hemlock wood waste from many of the local mills, and we collect the waste from local tree trimmers as well.”

Whether you need a five-gallon bucket or want to fill the back of your pickup truck, Earth, Land & Sea has you covered.

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Purchase a bucket from Earth Land & Sea to start collecting your household organic waste.

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