Using the organic waste as a step toward in achieving a sustainable local community.
It was a few years ago that Mr. Soma found out about this innovative humus. As a part of organic farming he had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Keiichiro Tanabe in Hiroshima, who had already brought his own method for developing humic substances. “I was stunned by seeing Mr. Tanabe’s farm. ‘Does it always grow this well!?’ Also, the farm wasn’t overworked. Moreover, neither the hog farm, where the humified organic matter is made, nor the farm itself smelled of manure. It was a dream in every sense with such production efficiency, the use and reuse of local resources, and environmental consideration. I found a strong interest.”
Mr. Soma, who had already wanted to create a sustainable recycling-oriented society through regional cooperation, asked livestock farmers in the Shonai region to collaborate in making a Gassan Pilot Farm version of humus. “The humic substance is made in cooperation with Suzuki Poultry Farm in the city of Tsuruoka, which also offers the facility and equipment. Mr. Tanabe used pig manure, but the theory should be the same with poultry manure. Regarding the wood chips, I use deforested tree chips that have been purchased by the Suzuki Poultry Farm, and procure scraps of mushroom beds, which were used for mushroom production in the city of Sakata.” He wanted to stick with the concept of collaborating with producers of Shonai and use waste materials, said Mr. Soma. “Shonai is a place like an isolated island on land, but there must also be some tradition where resources are circulated within the region. Transforming local waste into treasure. It means a lot to the region, I thought.”
However, even if the concept is ideal, it isn’t easy to get people involved in the practice. Especially for livestock farmers, it takes time and effort for such things as the need for the fermentation of the manure in the creation of the compost. Even if the effort is spent on things other than their core business, nobody knows whether it will be established as good business practice or not. “I have to keep telling them the fact that eliminating the smell of manure works on building relationships with the surroundings, and an economical advantage can be expected. At the same time, it is also important to make people understand the cause. I hope to increase the number of supporters little by little.”