Friday, June 25, 2010

Los Poblanos Lavender Festival

Make arrangements to attend this year's Lavender Festival at Los Poblanos Organic Farm. More information at

This year, Ski has been working really hard to organize foodwaste collection at the festival. Special events pose specific hurdles when it comes to organic waste collection. The general public is notoriously unreliable at separating organics from non-organics. This year, as I understand it, there will be a slew of volunteers to stand by the collection carts to help festival attendees properly sort all recyclables, not just the organics.

So when you go, thank the volunteers and pay special attention to the green carts marked "Organics Only" and know that you are helping us reduce local greenhouse gases.

Not to be outdone, Soilutions' owners Jim and Karen Brooks will be offering a composting workshop for the event. If you've never seen them speak, you will be in for a treat; be prepared to leave energized about your home compost.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Seedlings Up For Grabs

So a long time customer just came in with several flats of Tomato starts. There are about 200? They were grown by an organization called seed2need out of Corrales. As I understand it, they grow food on vacant and abandoned lots and donate the food to the food bank system. They grew way too many seedlings this year, so want to share their wealth a little. They only ask that you follow in their footsteps and give some of the tomatoes to the food banks. The Storehouse on Broadway was suggested but there are several. Our customer works at RoadRunner Food Bank, so there is another one to consider.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vermicompost for Sale

Every six months or so, we clean up our worm beds. When the beds contain more castings than fresh food for the worms, it becomes toxic to the worms. They become lethargic, get smaller and, if left alone, will die. So we dig the worm castings out and replenish the feed stocks. This year I used a combination of leaves and grass clippings. After I dug out the bin, I passed the material over a 1/4" screen to get most of the worms out and to separate any large or uncomposted material from the fine particle sized casting. The worms and the larger pieces go back into the bin while the finer material goes into the garden. Or if you want, it can go into YOUR garden. We have a limited amount until this fall, so get it now. One cubic foot bags sell for $10. bring your own 5 gal bucket and save $3.

Hope to see you soon.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rubber Necking

Everyone likes a good fire.

I don't think that the building has been vacant for years and is now for sale has anything to do with it.

I mentioned this property in a post dated July 2nd 2009.. As I recall, I was complaining that it was properties like this that got me depressed sometimes. It didn't occur to me that burning the place was a viable solution. Maybe I was wrong.

As I write this, our delivery truck is detained at the top of Bates Rd. Something about a hazard. I wonder if they are going to evacuate us?

Then it got really big.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The New Face of Soilutions, part 2

For a look at what it takes to re-do a "simple" sign, go to:

The original sign was a "Bates Lumber" sign (we are situated on the same property as the old Bates Lumber Mill), so the structure itself is probably 30-40 years old. You know us: re-use when ever possible.

The first question I had for Danny was how quickly it would get "tagged" by the local graffiti-ists. He said that the culture among the artists prohibited covering up or tagging a well-done mural: honor among thieves so to speak.

I suppose that last comment is unfair, at least to Danny. Here in Albuquerque, spray paint is considered a blight to communities performed by thugs and deadbeats. Obviously, to others outside our area, i.e., New york City, it is an art performed by artists.

Once again, I am enlightened by a customer.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The New Face of Soilutions

Hopefully, you all will see this for yourself. It's the sign at the end of Bates Rd.

We are pretty good at what we do, i.e., make compost. We are not very good at advertising. So when this guy walked into our office and said that he wanted to re-paint our sign, we said okay. We had been thinking of re-doing it for some time; each morning the rust spots bothered us. And now that the RailRunner comes by several times each day, we figured an old rusty sign wasn't the best face for our business.

I encourage you all to check out the guy's website (, but in the meantime, here's what I know of him. His name is Danny Skinz and he owns and operates an advertising business in New York City: big clients like Chrysler, Tampico, Nintendo, Ecko, and now Soilutions. Then he had an epiphany, and moved to NM after studying Permaculture. I don't know how he found us (how does anyone find us?) but decided that he could help us out.

His real love is aerosol, i.e. spray paint, and what he really wants to do is paint our delivery trucks. Any one who knows us knows that we don't make quick decisions. So we agreed to have him re-work the sign as a test run. Not a test run for him as much as a test run for us to see if the "urban" style would work for us.

Well, we are as tickled with it as anyone could be. I think it is sharp, unique, and speaks to the growing crossover market of agricultural and urban gardening in which we find ourselves deep in the midst . As one customer said yesterday, "it puts you into the twentieth century finally."

So please let us know what you think as you drive by on your way to recycle those branches, or to buy mulch for your newly planted trees. And look for Ski in our soon to be freshly painted delivery truck at a restaurant or cafe near you .