By: Kathleen McFarlane
Our Russian Nursery Association visitors were a pleasure on the 12th of November, 2014. The Visitor List can be obtained from Kathleen McFarlane. Their Oregon visits were to:
- The McFarlane's Bark Composting Facility
- Buchholtz & Buchholtz Nursery
- Monrovia Growers, Inc.
- J. Frank Schmidt & Son
Tod Gustafson, the McFarlane outside salesman was "latched onto" by Kees van Ommeren (pronounced: "Kess"), a Dutchman from Holland whom has a 10 year visa to live in Russia. Kees has become quite popular in Russia because, as he explained to Tod, "not very many people want to live in Russia". Kees is working a nursery and roots the green plants; he also informed Tod that "Russia is all about work", this seems to be all that they do; "work, work, work,; no sitting down, bosses, say work, work, work". Kees was very interested in delivery dump trucks; impressed with their size of up to 28 cubic yards. Tod was able to explain what he does for the nurseries he works with and believes the guests were in awe and astounded with McFarlane's composting operations, "They were impressed by the bark plant too". I let them know that my father and brothers designed and built the screening plant themselves. Rian Strong of our Grinding Services Department was "challenged" by a nurseryman whom said he "could not believe" that the MORBARK grinder could produce 90 to 120 tons of ground woody compostable material per hour. The MORBARK 6600 is a, 62 foot, 1,050 horsepower diesel, horizontal wood grinder. Rian gave a stunning display of the MORBARK in action at our CEC Screenit area. Equipment Operator, Jeff Petersen ran the track hoe and performed the loading of yard debris into the grinder for their viewing pleasure. The nurseryman was completely impressed, laughing, waving his arms wildly and talking to Rian in "Russian"! They even walked up close to the equipment; Rian stated that the disbelieving nurseryman wanted to see inside the grinding chamber to see how this MORBARK could grind into such small particle sizes, but of course that was not possible as it would be entirely too dangerous. These business owners were not put off when we told them that a new MORBARK costs $800,000, nor were they surprised by 10 hours of maintenance per week. The nurserymen and women were digging their hands in the finished product, just off the CEC and were smelling it; smiling and saying, "GOOD!!!". The product is earthy and pleasant; and these Growers / Business Women and Men, could see the benefit of using their cast off: Cuttings, trimmings, entire plants and trees, all varieties of suffering nursery stock; whatever the nursery grows can be ground and composted for use on their site.
Based upon what was shared with Rian, in as good of English as possible, it was Rian's impression that their growing season is as much as 4 months shorter than ours in the Pacific Northwest and they are here in the United States to obtain new growing ideas with the hope of implementing and increasing their processes and current production levels. After seeing the equipment being operated, our Russian guests left with many new ideas of how they can implement new equipment into their industry for processing their waste feed stocks that would help their industry increase production. I let them know how "honored" McFarlane's was, that they chose Our Company over all other composting facilities in the United States; I was more than impressed and grateful that they had traveled so far to visit us and that we were proud to be a part of their exploration.
Each of the 25 Visitors received a gift pak which included an Oregon Association of Nurseries Retail Map, the colorful notification of the 2015 Farwest Show, a MasterGardners magnet, a Compost brochure and McFarlane's Compo-Stuff analysis.
I shared my sister Maureen's comment when a few of the ladies said to me; "You are a hard working lady!" (I always like to share Maureen's ideology): "It is nice to know that when you come to work every day that you know you are doing the right thing" and I added, "We are helping our customers to create a sustainable life by providing products that are safe for the environment and human health. An organic food garden supports ultimate nourishment.
This is what we do.