A Q&A with Peter Schmidt of Compostwerks! LLC, a company based in Westchester County, New York which provides products and knowledge to assist ecologically minded growers, transitioning green industry professionals, municipalities, colleges, institutions and composting operations.
Q: Please describe your business in 50 words or less. What is your business and who does it serve?
Peter Schmidt: Compostwerks is a wholesale supplier of many different organic land care supplies such as organic fertilizers, soluble amendments and natural pest controls. We also sell commercial compost tea brewers, sprayers and compost top dressing equipment. Compostwerks uses all of the materials it sells in their service division.
Q:What is the state of the organic gardening industry? Where do you see the greatest growth and what’s driving it?
Schmidt: We have seen growth every year since formalizing in 2007. The area of largest growth for us currently is in private higher education. This is followed by municipal business. Landscape contractors, arborists make up the balance of our clients, followed by organic agriculture.
Schmidt: One area is being competitive in the market place. We can help in this area because we sell strictly wholesale. The other challenge for the professional is the market being inundated with new products and unrealistic claims of efficacy. We always suggest keeping it simple: Focus on building soil biology, organic matter and sound cultural practices.
Q: What advice do you have for conventional land care professionals who are considering transitioning to organic?
Schmidt: First, stay abreast of new education opportunities such as becoming an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP)! Second, understate expected outcomes with your clients. Explain that restoring natural soil systems takes time and patience. Third, don’t overdo the ‘product approach’. Top dress with compost. TEST YOUR SOIL.
4. Q: How do you consider your business to be part of the solution to environmental degradation and overuse of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides? How do you educate your clientele?
Compostwerk’s biggest role is to help disseminate accurate information about organic land care and back it up with simple and easy to use organic inputs and equipment. We host periodic workshops, consult directly and have an extensive website with valuable information. Go to www.compostwerks.com for more information.
Thanks Peter, for sharing your business and your approach with us today!