From My Saddle

Summer Projects Make an Eco-Friendly Farm

Summer Projects Make an Eco-Friendly Farm
Karen Pickering

Compost System Added for Cooking Poop!

By Karen Pickering


This summer has been about projects. With my husband Mark feeling better and able to do more we’ve gotten quite a few things done around the farm. This month the Northwest Horse Source is focused on training and facilities, so I thought I would give you an update on one of our projects in the works made possible by a grant from the Whatcom Conservation District.

Photo credit NWHS

Manure management is always a challenge; even with only two horses it’s still a large amount of waste to deal with. I’ve had my eye on manure bins designed by O2 Compost located in Snohomish, WA. I finally got started on the project in June and we’re nearing completion. My goal is to compost the manure much faster than a regular pile where you need to constantly turn it. This system uses a blower to inject air into the pile making it compost quickly and efficiently.

The completed project will have two side-by-side bins with a blower between, alternating airflow between the bins as the manure processes. The bins will be covered to keep rainwater from washing out important nutrients and protecting the water sources on the property. A local contractor, Roger Edmonds, has done a fine job constructing the bins for us. Mark and I helped with ground prep, staining and running wiring for the blower.

The compost bins are nicer looking and take less space than the traditional concrete eco blocks. The resulting compost will provide us with additional income from selling it to our neighbors for their gardens. I will also spread manure on the fields using our Newer Spreader, which is designed for farms with two to four horses. It doesn’t take much space and is easily pulled behind anything from lawnmowers to tractors.

This month’s cover story is from a barn company that builds dream facilities! Check out DC Structure’s article on page 6.

Our Small Farm Makeover column in this issue shares details of the winner of the farm makeover contest from March. See more on page 12.

Finally, I’d like to share another resource for our do-it-yourself trainers. Check out the Media Barn on page 10. I have the pleasure of sharing information on a set of training DVDs by Josh Lyons.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer––riding, showing, driving or just being with your horse!

Quote: Make yourself a priority once in a while. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary.

Karen A. Baquiran, Writer


Published August 2018 Issue

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From My Saddle
Karen Pickering

Owner/Publisher Karen’s lifelong love of horses began at a very early age when she wore out a couple of rocking horses before convincing her parents to get her the real thing. That ill-tempered bay gelding, Brandy, was a challenge for the young horsewoman, but it drove her ambition to become a horse trainer. After attending Canyonview Equestrian College’s Horsemanship Program, Karen realized she needed work that was a little more lucrative than training, so she took a job with Customs Brokerage to pay the bills. There, she discovered an affinity for computers and a talent for creating informative, entertaining newsletters. The Northwest Horse Source began as such a letter in December 1995, with a distribution of 1000 copies for its 12 black and white pages. Since then, it has grown into beautiful, all-gloss magazine with the largest coverage of any free equine publication in the Northwest – a distribution of over 16,000 copies and over 600 locations monthly. Not bad for the results of one woman’s dream to work with horses!

Today, Karen remains involved with every aspect of the magazine and treasures the community of thousands who share a common passion. Somewhere in the wee hours of the early mornings and late evenings, she still finds time to care for April, her gorgeous and sweet-tempered Quarter Horse.

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