from on .

Check out this great video on “Forced Air Composting” from Gregg Twehues. This technology has the ability to speed the composting process from 3-4 months to 1-month! It’s also a great system for any farm that produces meat based waste such as poultry mortalities or slaughter by-product.

Though we produce neither, we sure would love to set-up a basic version of this system to help us quickly compost our veggie scraps!

More on how ASP works, from Wikipedia:

Aerated Static Pile (ASP) composting, refers to any of a number of systems used to biodegrade organic material without physical manipulation during primary . The blended admixture is usually placed on perforated piping, providing air circulation for controlled  . It may be in , open or covered, or in . With regard to complexity and cost, aerated systems are most commonly used by larger, professionally managed composting facilities, although the technique may range from very small, simple systems to very large, capital intensive, industrial installations.

Aerated static piles offer process control for rapid , and work well for facilities processing wet materials and large volumes of feedstocks. ASP facilities can be under roof or outdoor  operations, or totally enclosed , sometimes referred to tunnel composting.

The  system uses fans to push and/or pull air through the composting mass. Rigid or flexible perforated piping, connected to fans, delivers the air. The pipes can be installed in channels, on top of a floor, or included throughout the pile during buildup.

In large-scale systems, forced aeration is accompanied with a computerized monitoring system responsible for controlling the rate and schedule of air delivery to the composting mass, although meters and manual monitoring techniques may also be used in smaller scale operations.

Advantages of this composting method include the ability to maintain the proper moisture and oxygen levels for the microbial populations to operate at peak efficiency to reduce pathogens, while preventing excess heat, which can crash the system. Aerated systems also facilitate the use of  to treat process air to remove  and mitigate  prior to venting. However, aerated systems can dry out quickly and must be monitored closely to maintain desired moisture levels.

In Thailand this system has been used by 470 farmer groups. (May, 2008). The process required 30 days to finish without turning, with 10 metric tons of compost (10 piles) obtained each time. A 15 inch squirrel-cage blower was used to force the air through 10 static piles of compost, one at a time, for 15 minute periods twice a day. The raw materials consisted of agricultural wastes and animal manure in the ratio of 3:1 by volume.

ASP Systems in “The Wild”:

I’m proud to announce our 2013 Tomato Selections! Would love to hear feedback from any of you tomato-heads out there.

To see pictures and descriptions of all our varieties, check out Varieties section.


This year has been full of big changes for New Traditions Farm! Here’s just a few:

New Location

This year we moved from our farm in Beaverville, IL to Whitewater, WI. The new farm in Whitewater is absolutely beautiful!

It’s located half-way between Milwaukee and Madison, and is roughly the same distance from Chicago as our last location. This allows us the same easy access to Chicago, while simultaneously allowing us to tap into two huge new markets: Milwaukee & Madison.

The farm itself is located on 80 sprawling acres of glacially-formed-wisconsin-paradise. Our first year we’ll be farming approximately 8 acres. The remaining acreage is a mix of woodlands, creeks and organic row crops. Currently there is a tenant farmer raising organic wheat on 25 of the acres. In the coming years we hope to expand our operation into those fields!

At the back of the property there’s beautiful Oak Savannah, which is skirted by a stretch of the  (a hiking trail the goes through the entire state of Wisconsin). It’s a perfect place to hike, wander and ruminate!

The new farm also has some great features and upgrades. Including:

  • 30′ x 100′ Hoop House w/Irrigation
  • 10′ x 10′ Walk-In Cooler to keep your veggies fresh!
  • Fully Plumbed Irrigation System & Good Well
  • Living Space (More important than you’d think!)
  • Commercial Kitchen (Perhaps there’s some jamming and canning in our future!)
  • More Acreage (8 Acres this season, with the possibility of expanding up to 35!)
  • Close Proximity to Whitewater, WI (A cute college town).
  • 4 Awesome Great Pyrenees ”Guard” Dogs
  • Plenty of Room for Pastured Poultry!


New Web-Site & Logo

You’ve probably noticed that we’ve done some re-branding & re-designing!

The new look is inspired by a series of wonderful vintage seed catalogs I saw in the Smithsonian Archives recently. We tried our best to capture the colors and aesthetics in our new design. The logo artwork comes from the artist Peter Frasier, who was an important propaganda artist for the British government during World War 2.

You can check out the original poster here, which is titled ““.


New Farm Vehicle

This our shiny new farm vehicle. A 2009 Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner to be exact. For those of you who are familiar with our last truck (lovingly known by many names, including the ‘periwinkle princess’) know what a HUGE step-up this is for us!

No more frightful, dangerously-loaded & over-packed runs to and from Chicago. Now we’ll be riding in safety and comfort (…and paying an arm and a leg for gas!)


New Delivery Days & Pick-Up Locations

This year we’ll be changing our pick up & delivery system a bit. The first change is that we’ll be hiring a full-time delivery driver, dedicated only to serving your delivery needs (on Saturdays & Wednesdays at least)!

Second, we’ll be changing our delivery days to Saturday and Wednesday (instead of Sunday). This will allow our CSA customers to come visit us and pick-up their share at the Evanston Farmers Market if they please!

For more information on these changes, you can visit our Farm Share Program page, which has all the relevant information. For quick reference, here’s our updated list of pick-up & drop-off locations:

  • Evanston Farmers Market (University Place and Oak Ave.): Sat 7:30 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Logan Square (3230 W. Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL): Times TBD
  • Hyde Park (Location TBD): Sat 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • On-Farm (7916 N. County Line Rd, Whitewater, WI): Tues & Fri 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM



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