Welcome to BioBag’s Community Heroes series! Each month, we will highlight community heroes that are making a difference in their communities and working to make their local environments cleaner and healthier.
This month, we are taking a look at Big River Organics!
Big River Organics was founded by Sue Krause, who plays many roles in her small town. She picks up and compost food waste from many different places in their town, including their small rural school. She also teaches the kids from Lancaster, Wisconsin about compost and worm farming.
She loves her dog Newt, who plays at the Cassville dog park where they use BioBag pet waste bags at the dog park. She composts the waste from the park, which they return to flower beds around the dog park.
What led you to start your composting operation?
Krause: As a little kid, I was always a little shadow with my grandparents in the garden. Composting was simply part of the magical growing process. One of my treasured Christmas presents as a young gardener was Rodale’s Guide to Composting.
Think of the many sacrifices invested in our food: crops planted, harvested, trucked, stocked and sold. Calves are born, fattened, slaughtered. A tremendous amount of energy is put into this food. Sadly, nearly half of this food investment is thrown away. I compost the vast energy remaining in this food. I harvest the untapped food potential to create new products. In this way, the food is respected and I can honor the work that has been put into it.
Who do you serve, and how can people get in touch with you if they want to start composting?
Krause: I live in a small town, less than 800 people. I’m on the village board, work with the food pantry garden and waitress at the Cassville Café. Folks know how to find me. Potential customers reach out to me on Facebook (Big River Organics) or stop me on the street. Kids cheer when I drive by in my old topless Jeep: Go Worms!
How much organic material do you typically take in on a weekly basis?
Krause: I estimate that I compost approximately 1,000 pounds a month of food waste. Some of my sources include the grocery store, the food pantry, Café, local tavern, campground and several residential customers.
Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.
Krause: I am a red wiggler (worm) farmer. Thousands of my wiggly livestock break down my finished compost further into valuable vermicast. Plants love this valuable soil amendment! I sell it in 50 pound pails. I also use it to make seed bombs which are compost morsels packed with wildflower seeds. Folks buy them from me and plant to spread beautiful flowers.
If you would like to be featured in a future edition of Community Heroes, please email us at email@example.com.