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The greening of Tanque Verde Guest Ranch
Tthe largest Guest Ranch in the United States, Tucson, Arizona
Tanque Verde Ranch is nestled among the majestic natural beauty of the Rincon Mountains between Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest just east of Tucson, Arizona. Comprised of more than sixty thousand acres of unspoiled southwest landscape surrounding plush accommodations, unparalleled amenities, and a diverse menu of daily rides and activities, since 1868, the business has grown steadily to become the largest and most memorable Dude Ranch resort in North America.
May 27, 2009
Project Scope: We are looking at ways to go green as well as a more effective way to dispose of our horse manure. 200 head of horses produce approximately 867 tons of Manure per year and costing $25,000.00 to have hauled away, not withstanding any other organic material that the ranch produces and also gets hauled away.
Solution: Set up a wind row vermiculture operation and turn an expenditure into a asset .
Synopsis of Tanque Verde Ranch three day trip by John V. Anderson
Left home 5:00 am-met shuttle 5:35-arrived at airport and departed DIA for Tucson on time. Arrived in Tucson on time and met Steve Shaw Head Wrangler for Tanque Verde Ranch who was to be my main contact for the duration of consult at airport for 40 minute trip to ranch east to Tucson.
Had pleasant discussion on trip back to ranch- check-in about 11:00 am-great central located room 4-met for lunch and intro's to managers and assorted staff at ranch restaurant-felt welcome and was well received as we discussed ideas for greening the ranch. After lunch Steve and I went on walking tour of facilities and processes as the are currently being implemented. After some physical, logical, temporal, organizational assessment of the site and its processes I decided to get started with a windrow type bed on ground with the most shade and was simple to add more and close to a water source and feedstock. This was in a Southwest corner of a corral that was easy to fence off to keep horses off the bed.
Its was determined that the 100 x 24 concrete slab was not ideal at this point to use to culture worm without major renovation. That being said it may make and excellent place to do the processing I.e. separation, harvest of worms and castings packaging down the road as it has a central location. These actions and discussions took the remainder of the afternoon.
Was treated to a barbecue with the rest to the clientele that evening and was serenaded by locale cowboy musician. Also talked with program director whom invited me to do a program the next afternoon which I agreed to do. Next morning I met wranglers whom seem genuinely interested in what I was up to and went on a chuck wagon breakfast ride and was back by 9:30 meeting with managers which the deemed not necessary so I went on a trip into Tucson with Steve Shaw to meet and consult with worm wranglers in that area. We were back just in time to eat lunch and discuss further the Idea of greening the ranch on a broader scope. Checked on moisture levels in the bed prepared the previous day. At 3:30 it was time to set up for PowerPoint presentation on worm compost for employees and public at large at 4:00pm. Gave presentation and fielded questions till 5:30 and went down to worm bed with those interested to seed worms that I had brought (small sample batch) and some worms a purveyor from Tucson had sold to the ranch. Mine where happy and healthy but I when we try to seed the purveyor's worm on the bed it became obvious that many of the supposed 10lbs. were dead or suffering from heat and crowded low bedding environment. I let the live worms move into bed and scraped corpses of the remainder off the bed and covered with dry manure to discourage flies over the next twelve hours. I broke for dinner and then spent some time on the phone with my admin fairy and Paul with Dolly from Vermiculture.ca whom presented me this opportunity.
Final morning I went on a professionally guided bird walk and grounds tour with a man whom also seem to be living his bliss. We spotted all he expected and then some. We added a third type of Heron to his list that day. I had a light breakfast and checked the worms as stated and went for another trail ride and back in time to check out of my room and catch a ride to the airport. As in projects I have done in the past it is hard to let it go and not continue thorough to a further degree of success.
SEE A SLIDE SHOW HERE
Small in stature but big on flavour, Kicking Horse Coffee is nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and at the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River. Some people say it is the Rocky Mountain air, some people suggest it is the altitude... whatever it is, we're not footing the medical bill if our coffee takes you out with a roundhouse to the taste buds! Traditionally roasted and blended at 3,000 feet above sea level, Kicking Horse offers a 21-flavour portfolio of the very best Organic Fair Trade coffee concoctions in the country.
Project Scope: Basically we want to develop a unit that
will process 50lbs of waste per day (coffee hulks, burlap bags, cardboard, paper
and lunchroom scrapes) and I don't think this has to be that complicated.
So if you can sell us some plans to build this unit that would be great, because
I really want to get this project started. Thanks,
Solution: Supply a set of plans and instructions to begin a vermicomposting operation including climatic conditions. A 58 page document was prepared and sent.
Feedback from the owner: Leo Johnson
"It looks awesome. I'll let you know how we are progressing.". " You should really consider putting it in a book format with various scalabilities for any size project".
The latest news from Kicking Horse:
15.04.08 | Hey – who ordered 30 lbs of worms?
We did! KHC welcomed aboard 30 lbs of red wigglers to help us in reaching our company goal of reducing our waste by 30%. They are hungry little critters and once we have them settled in to their new "digs", we hope to see them munch up all of our paper and card board waste. Head counts of the KHC team members are now a daily ritual because as mentioned earlier, these wigglers are hungry. "Leo! Has anyone seen Leo lately?"
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