Poop, Glorious Poop

3 Nov
The happy cows of Point Reyes
The Happy Cows of Pt. Reyes. Don’t they look smug.
A couple weeks ago, we took a much needed field trip up north to Point Reyes to visit the hilarious and cheesy Point Reyes Compost Company. Did we say cheesy? Yes. And we meant cheesy. Because in addition to high quality, super classy poop, the family also makes cheese. Aaaaahmazing cheese. The compost is awesome, too, and of course we carry it, because it is both quality and hilarity mixed into one fine bag of crap. (Their tagline? “Our products are mostly crap.”) 

Doubly Doody & pretty pumpkins
The Point Reyes Compost Company is married to the Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. Literally! Teddy, big man on poop campus, and our hilarious guide for the day’s tour, is the son in law of Bob, who’s the big cheese of the family. Allow yourself a little bit of mental gymnastics to appreciate both things simultaneously. Fabulous compost and insanely good cheese, all from the same herd of well cared for and pampered cows. We think it’s a fine recipe for sustainability.
Teddy giving us the inside tour
Teddy giving us the inside tour.
The milking barn
The Milking Barn. Can you tell how clean this place is? In case you can’t, I’ll just tell you: it’s super clean.
So when the company invited us up to peruse the grounds and meet the cows AND try their various cheeses, of course we said YES PLEASE! Have you had their blue cheese? It’s more than a little amazing. I have to say, we ate our share during our visit. Blue Cheese hangover? Not so pretty, but so worth it.
Macaroni & Cheeeeeese
Macaroni & Cheeeeeese. With bacon.
This small company has taken steps to close the loop of waste in inventive but common sense ways, from input to output. The cows are maintained on a diet largely consisting of materials that are the (edible!) byproduct of other consumer industries, and on the other end, the post-cow waste is lovingly handled in small batches to ensure that the crap that you take home is High. Quality. Crap. Plus, who doesn’t love any company that has a methane digester on the property that can, at peak, provide 85% of the power required to keep everything running?
moo food
A sampling of the bovine diet.

 

poo pile
This is 2 days worth! Holy crap!

We came away from the day with the warm impression that this family really cares about the impact they are making on the environment (and on beautiful Point Reyes!), the care they take with their cows (their cow’s health care program is largely based on preventative services – big YAY!) and about creating an efficient and primarily closed system where the waste produced goes to good use – in our home gardens and yours! We also went home with a taste for their blue cheese that may sour us on any other ever again. Sigh. Life is so hard.

bebe cow!
Bebe Cow!

 

Red winged black birds!
Red Winged Blackbirds. Droves of them – so pretty and so noisy.

 

es-ca-pay!
While we were distracted by the CHEESE, a baby cow escaped from the baby cow village and
started “maintaining” the landscape.

Point Reyes is perrrrty
If I were a cow, I’d be pretty stoked to hang out here.
Baby cow cottages
Baby cow cottages. Don’t worry, they have room to move around.
Equipment!
This is what they use to turn the compost. Serious stuff!
Hot shit!
It’s important to make sure your poo is well cooked
to destroy harmful pathogens!
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12 Responses to “Poop, Glorious Poop”

  1. Trumom... November 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    I. Am. So. Jealous.

  2. Chris McLaughlin (@Suburban_Farmer) November 3, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    See?? Now THIS is cool crap! This is what my rabbit manure set up looks like! Well…sort of. We LIVE for bull crap around here…well, that and rabbit crap…horse crap…it's the same old shit, you know?

    I may be confusing you. Okay, I'll come explain it at Annie's Annuals in the spring :D

  3. Mark Delepine November 4, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    I was just hearing about this place recently. The methane gas converter is very cool. I had a brother growing up that might have been able to pay for our power if only the technology existed back then. I wonder what the calf sheds are for?

  4. Lynn Bay November 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    What a great and wonderful view of what can be done, I am forwarding this to all the dairies in my area so maybe they can be inspired!

  5. plantanista November 4, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    I want a pair of red 1619 earrings, too!

  6. Annie's Annuals and Perennials November 5, 2010 at 2:35 am #

    plantanista – we'd totally be down for some of those red 1619 earrings, too! lynn – thank you for sharing with your local dairies. we were impressed and inspired by what this family farm is doing to close the loop! chris – we're excited for you to share your crappy composting ideas at the nursery come spring! mark – i have to find out exactly what those calf sheds are for – protection from animals and the elements? (i'll ask someone who was obviously paying closer attention!).

  7. Audrey November 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    What a rally cool field trip! Love to see cows getting fed what they are suppose to eat instead of GMO corn.

  8. Gayleen November 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    What a horrible home for baby cows. Set them free!

  9. Anonymous November 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    Hi Annie's fan club – this is Lynn, Teddy's wife. I thought I would clarify the calf huts. You are looking at the back end of the huts. The front is open and has another 8 feet of a fenced in play area for the baby's to play. The calves are in their individual huts for the first 4 weeks to build up their immune system and keep them from catching anything. This builds stronger healthier cows!

  10. pdshopster November 27, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    Can we order some POO?

  11. dave February 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    I grew up on a dairy farm and love the pics remind me of my youth.. great post

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Making Waves: Bay Blue | Bon Bouche - April 1, 2013

    [...] to preserving the area’s natural environment, serving as stewards of the land (check out this great write-up about their compost company & super-cool methane converter) and very active members of Marin [...]

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