Several years ago, Tim Camisa, Vermont Organics co-owner, was at his father’s house on Lake Champlain, but his children couldn’t swim that day, because toxic, blue-green algae blooms – caused by a combination of phosphorous runoff into the lake, with other factors – peppered the shoreline.
Tim, who studied math and physics at the University of Vermont, took a year to analyze nearly 50 Lake Champlain water quality reports the state commissioned over several years – more than 10,000 pages worth of reading. That’s when it hit him.
After years of design, research, and raising capital, Camisa and Rooney, who met at UVM, created a revolutionary manure management system that captures and recycles excess phosphorous and other nutrients in cow manure, which we purchase from local farmers, to produce a line of organic potting media and other green-industry products. The manure goes from the farmer’s barn, straight to our conveyor belts – fertile and fresh.
The result is a peat-free, Vermont brand of commercial soil that is all organic matter. In turn, we reduce a farmer’s manure spread by 20 percent and prevent surface runoff from seeping into our streams, rivers and lakes. VOR soils are sold to individuals and also larger nurseries and garden centers (if interested in bulk (truckload, pallets, etc.), please email or call us at 802-528-8512).
VOR also has a 7,200-square-foot, state-of-the-art greenhouse that doubles as a research and development center. Here, we conduct growth studies – using our soils – for greenhouse and nursery owners. We also test our own products in our R&D center, because checking our own work is important to us.