|Wednesday What's New: From Cranberry Pomace to Potting Mix|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Wednesday, 25 July 2012|
Both cranberry sauce a staple at many Thanksgiving meals, and cranberry juice, thought to ward off urinary tract infections, require that the skins of the cranberries they are made from, be removed. But what happens to the skins? For the most part, they are shredded and end up as organic waste deposited in a landfill--five tons of them in fact from Ocean Spray alone.
One man, a waste hauler by trade decide to see what could be done about using the shredded skins referred to as pomace, for something other than landfill waste. It turns out the answer may be yes. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have determined that pomace, when composted is quite similar to peat moss, a staple of potting mix. Over the past few years pomace has been sold as mulch to some local wholesale mulch companies.
Several commercial flower growers in Massachusetts have agreed to be guinea pigs for the Umass researchers and experiment with various potting mixes containing pomace to see whether it is beneficial or not. So far the results are positive, with the winner being that of a 50:50 mix of peat moss to pomace. Too much pomace added to the mix makes it too acidic for most plants.