Good Clean Dirt
Good for the Earth
Composting is nature’s powerful recycling process that harnesses the value in would-be waste and uses it to regenerate the soil we depend on. Our DEP-certified facility prevents thousands of yards of waste from being sent to landfills and reduces methane production that contributes to global warming, while enriching soils and reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
Good for the Community
Benson Farm provides a much-needed commercial-scale recycling option for local businesses. Nearly all of our inputs come from within 20 miles of the farm. In addition, Benson Farm’s Community Good program supports over a dozen schools, non-profits, and community gardens in their work to educate, end food insecurity, and build more vibrant communities. (Learn more about our Community Good program here!)
Good for Growing
The lobster shells in Surf n Turf compost provide soil with a slow-releasing source of chitin, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium in a balanced formula that supports healthy plant growth. Compost improves the physical structure of any soil over time, increasing the moisture-holding capacity of light, sandy soils and reducing the bulk density of heavier, clay-based soils.
Post-consumer food waste
Yard, leaf and lawn waste
We hold high standards for our inputs to minimizes the risk of forever chemicals, microplastics, weed seeds, and invasive pests from spreading into your backyard.
Approved by MOFGA for use on certified organic crops and gardens
From Earth to Earth
After farming in Gorham for nearly 100 years, we’ve learned a lot about conservation. Understanding the land we live on is central to raising healthy animals, healthy crops, and healthy families: we believe that what’s invested into the soil is intricately connected to the quality of the food that’s harvested, just as the food we eat is intricately connected to our wellbeing. Composting is nature’s way of returning nutrients to the land in a natural and powerful recycling process. We believe composting goes beyond improving gardens and harvests and plays an important role in improving the sustainability of our communities. We work to prevent local waste from being sent to landfills by incorporating a variety of natural residual sources into our products - from farm, forest, field, and ocean. Taking in diverse sources of natural waste gives our local businesses, organizations, and households an alternative to harmful waste management practices and promotes both a healthy, balanced cycle of land conservation as well as beautiful landscaping and gardens.
Benson Farm offers three high quality compost products made from a blend of ingredients from farm, forest, and ocean sources to maximize the diversity of nutrients available for thriving plants. Lobster shells are our “secret ingredient,” containing essential calcium, phosphates, and magnesium as well as chitin to
enhancing the availability of important nutrients soil structure and a visual reminder of our connection to our community.
Surf n Turf Compost
Our signature Surf n Turf compost is a rich blend of seafood and cow manure, fully composted to a dark, nutrient-rich amendment with flecks of shell. Surf n Turf Compost supports healthy soil and thriving plants, and is approved by MOFGA for use on certified organic gardens and crops.
Super Soil Blend
Our Super Soil blends our signature Surf n Turf compost with high-quality loam sourced from former cropland on our farm. The loam is carefully inspected and optimized to balance the soil components, and the compost is blended evenly throughout the product to provide a healthy foundation for new lawns or garden beds.
Our composting process meets the standards of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and our products are approved by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) for use on certified organic gardens. Visit our FAQs for information on how to use your compost, how much you'll need for your garden, and more!
How It's Made
First, we collect waste from local businesses and organizations:
Seafood waste from Portland’s working waterfront
Why seafood waste, you ask?
The use of fish in composting dates back to Native American crop growing practices. Today, we bring in waste primarily from crab, sea urchin, and Maine's famous lobster. The shells of crustaceans are high in a powerful protein called chitin, which has antimicrobial properties that have recently been identified as an organic source of reducing pests and disease in crops.
Animal bedding from local stables and farms, like the Maine Society for the Protection of Animals
Then, we bring everything to our farm and mix it together with manure and used animal bedding.
Cooking & Curing
Next, we stockpile the mixture and keep it at very high temperatures to aid decomposition. When it's finished decomposing, it's left to cure for several months.
The product is carefully examined, and once its determined to be finished, it's screened to 1/2 of an inch to remove any rocks, sticks, or other oversized objects.
Benson Farm Surf n Turf
The final product is a rich blend of natural by-products, fully composted to a dark, odorless dirt with flecks of shell.
Benson Farm products are free from:
Yard, leaf, and lawn clippings
Post-consumer food waste
Clean inputs minimizes the risk of forever chemicals, microplastics, weed seeds, and invasive pests from spreading into your backyard.
Benson Farm compost can be found at dozens of garden centers and retail locations throughout the state. Click the product buttons below to find a map of the locations that are nearest to you.
Both products are available to pick up by the yard at the farm by appointment only. Please call ahead at 207-892-6446 to make an appointment.
For large bulk orders of 20 yards or more, please click here.
Where to Buy
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64 Plummer Rd.
Gorham, ME 04038
April through June
Monday through Friday: 8am - 5pm
*Please call ahead for pick-ups
Saturday and Sunday: Closed
November through March