Two Particular Acres (TPA) is a family farm located in western Montgomery County right in the heart of suburban Philadelphia. As part of our normal farming operations we began composting our manures and the manures of our neighbors’ farms many years ago. Composting allowed us to achieve three goals. First, we were able to eliminate foul odors associated with manure storage. Achieving this goal became extremely important due to encroaching development in this region. Second, we reduced our mineral fertilizer use while increasing the organic matter content of our soils. And finally, we wanted to convert to a no-till program to conserve our soils and improve the environment. Because we do not till the soil, we could not incorporate manure and therefore compost became the only acceptable product to spread on our no-till fields.
As part of the continuing research to make our farming operations economical and a sincere desire to avoid “selling out” to a developer, we applied for and received the very first On-Farm Compost Permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”). This permit was granted on February 3, 2003. Pursuant to the authority granted under this permit we now compost, among other feedstocks, source separated food waste, agricultural manure and yard waste. We market the finished product in the local community from which the feedstocks were generated and we also use a portion of the finished product on our farm.