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 compost bledA nitrogen-rich blend of oceanic residuals and manure, for use as a soil amendment to revitalize your garden bed. replenish nutrients that allow your crops to thrive
Super Soil Blend
Loam blended with Surf n' Turf and screened for a uniform product, perfect for starting any new gardening project.
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 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.
In addition to our retail locations, check out a list of LANDSCAPERS and a directory of LOCAL CSA's that use Benson Farm Earth Products to create beautiful outdoor spaces and grow incredible produce.
For large bulk orders of 20 yards or more, please click here.
Where to Buy
New & Noteworthy
43-Foot Engangered Right Whale Composted at Benson Farm
September 26, 2016
"The carcass of an endangered right whale found floating off Boothbay Harbor sits Sunday in a tractor-trailer that transported it from the Portland waterfront to Benson Farm in Gorham, creating a bit of an overnight spectacle in the streets along the way. "
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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