Episode 12

12. From Trash to Treasure: Diverting Waste to Heal the Soil – Alissa LaChance of Dirt Rich

Return to Nature Podcast

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In this episode of Return to Nature, Melissa interviews Alissa LaChance, the owner and operator of Dirt Rich, the Flathead Valley’s local composting service. Born and raised in Whitefish, Montana, Alissa is passionate about spreading knowledge about the concepts and science of regenerative agriculture and providing a local product that helps gardeners and farmers maintain a holistic agricultural system to grow more nutrient dense food.

Alissa holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in sustainable agriculture. Her goal is to connect humans back to the cycles of nature through food scrap composting and education in the regenerative agriculture sphere. Dirt Rich is a tool for her to do just that. She has continued her education with well known soil ecologists such as Elaine Ingham and Nicole Masters and is part of of the Integrity Soils Fellowship, coaching farmers and ranchers on agroecological systems management and composting systems for their businesses.

ALISSA SHARES

  • How a walk in the woods gave her clarity on her career trajectory
  • Her outlook on formal education and what she ultimately studied
  • How her venture into composting started when her friend’s hobby composting service was approached by Glacier National Parks’ concessioner
  • The Dr. Elaine Ingham talk she attended on soil ecology that elevated her mission from just waste diversion to including soil remediation
  • The interplay between our intuitive connection to Nature and the science behind soil health
  • The Nicole Master’s Create course through the Integrity Soils Fellowship
  • Why she likes vermicomposting (worm composting) and the basics
  • The importance of being “carnivore responsible” when composting outside in a region like the Flathead Valley
  • What is happening during the Bokashi composting process and why it’s not her recommended method
  • Making composting affordable and accessible to as many people as possible
  • The ideal rations of carbon to nitrogen for composting
  • How to compost pet poop
  • How to source compostable bags that are safe for the soil
  • Dirt Rich’s recommended third party certifiers are TUV, compost manufacturing alliance, and BPI certified
  • The difference between electric composters and the natural composting process
  • An inside look into Dirt Rich’s operation
  • The implications and possibilities of implementing compost within the agricultural sphere

YOU CAN CONNECT WITH ALISSA THROUGH DIRT RICH:

WEBSITE: WWW.DIRTRICHCOMPOST.COM

INSTAGRAM: @DIRTRICHCOMPOST

FACEBOOK: @DIRTRICHCOMPOST

EMAIL: DIRTRICHCOMPOST@GMAIL.COM

This is the organics cycle. We want people to understand that by getting compost back into our soils we’re reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers, for tons of really terrible things that people are spraying.

ALISSA LACHANCE, DIRT RICH

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