Earth Day: Benefits to healthy soil VIDEO

On Earth Day, Ryan Hartberg visited Milwaukee’s channel 12 news station and while the cameras were rolling, talked about planting and healthy soils with Andy Choi who’s a self-professed newbie to gardening. Watch the segment here. Full transcript is below.


Ryan on the news

Earth Day! Ryan Hartberg on Channel 12 News in Milwaukee talking about compost and planting.

Full transcript:

New on WISN 12 news, we are of course talking about earth day and all of the gray importance of earth day. And joining us today to talk about gardening–we’re talking about gardening and this beautiful set you brought with us here. Ryan Hartberg of Purple Cow Organics is here to talk about why healthy soil is essential to getting the best results for your garden. Thank you for coming in.

Thank you, Andy.

A lot of people are talking about gardening with the sun shining and the temperatures warming up.

First of all, happy earth day. It is like Mother’s Day. You should love your mother all year long. But it is nice to have one day you pay attention to her.


So here is what top soil looks like or some soils look like. We see it on a farm field or our backyard. This is the.Are this is used over and over again.

We have been taking, taking, taking. 95% of the food that we heat comes from soil and top soil specifically. If this is what it looks like we may not get nutrients. It takes a thousand years to create three inches of top soil. A long time.

So how do we give the love?

It is great and common and easy to get, compost. This is materials that come from the earth, sustainable. And broken down to a useful, soil again, the difference between a topsoil used and compost. This is dark and rich, full of nutrients, biology. And holds moisture well. You can do it in your back yard or a garden center and buy compost.

And I’m not exactly a green thumb. So for the folks watching, if I can do it.

You can do it. So should we start planting something.

Yes. Great.

We have a couple of peppers here. We take a little bit of compost. So put it.

So a little handful in the hole there. You get the goodness by the man’s roots.

Goodness for mother nature.

And all right. That in the hole there. And then put a little bit more compost.

More compost.

And cover the top of the pot.

Part of is, just, you see the topsoil that is ragged and not doing too much for you, you have to show mother earth the love.

Yes. The compost is like the super vitamin and hold moisture and give the plant the nutrients it needs. And then fertilizer.

A kick there. It is a great way to get more nutrients around the plant.

All right. Thank you. My green thumb is upgraded quite a bit there. Happy earth day to you. If you would like to learn more about the great recommendations here for the soil, check out

Where to Buy

What does “Organic” mean in terms of compost?

How is compost anything but organic?

Recently we had a response to a blog post about our compost and how it is considered Organic.  The question was, “How is compost anything but organic? You put the term organic in front of it so you can charge more for the same thing.”

This is a great question!  This is an answer that is probably helpful to a lot of interested consumers about the necessity, purpose, or value of the “organic” label.

To a certain extent, you are correct: most compost – if it truly is compost – is what we call “lower case ‘o’ organic” – meaning it is made from natural, carbon-based ingredients like plants or manure.  We, too, have seen some other companies and products on the market that refer to their compost as “organic compost”, perhaps to – as you say – be able to charge more, but are nothing other than compost – and of varying quality.

What do we mean by Organic?

When Purple Cow Organics refers to its compost products as Organic (conversely, we use the phrase “capital “O” Organic” to describe Purple Cow products) we are referring to products that are approved for use in USDA Certified Organic production and/or OMRI Listed for Organic Use.  The process in which we craft the aerobically-made compost – taking into account time, temperature, turning – is highly standardized to insure quality and consistency every time.

UOMRI Green Logo smallnlike food, which gets the designation “USDA Certified Organic”, products like compost that are used in organic production need to be approved by a certifier.  Having a product OMRI Listed allows certifiers and growers expedite the approval process for those products.  OMRI is the Organic Materials Review Institute, which is a private, nonprofit organization that does independent vetting of products to make sure they are approved for organic production.  Our composting process and compost products are subject to one of the most stringent vetting processes to insure consistency, quality, safety, and sustainability.  You can see a list of approved (OMRI Listed) products at

Purple Cow compost not only meets, but exceeds the standards set forth by OMRI and the US Compost Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance (USCC-STA) in terms of maturity, quality, consistency, growing emergence and vigor, particle size, etc.

OMRI is the organization that we use for pre-approval, but there are others including NOP (

Thanks again for the question!