Coachella Valley Compost Demonstration Project: Agricultural Demonstration Projects

California Bio-Mass

Project Status
This compost demonstration project, funded by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (now known as the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery or CalRecycle), was cut short in October 2000 when Mr. David Hardy, President of California Bio-Mass, advised staff that the original terms of the partnership contract could not be met. Neither California Bio-Mass nor their sub-contractor submitted a report to the Board.

In May 1999, CalRecycle initiated a contract with California Bio-Mass, Inc. for a two-year demonstration and research project using compost on grape, citrus, date, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach crops in the Coachella Valley. CalRecycle funding, which totaled $96,363 plus matching funds of the partnership, would allow project staff to conduct detailed analyses of application rates, growing practices, economic data, and crop response. A Southern California growers’ guide detailing the use of compost on these crops and helping growers evaluate their potential for compost use will be produced in 2001.


  • Demonstrate the value of compost for improving soil structure and enhancing performance of six crops grown in the Coachella Valley.
  • Disseminate the results of the project to growers in southern California.


  • Collect data on compost performance and economics.
  • Conduct field days and workshop for commercial growers.
  • Develop growers’ guide on compost use in the Coachella Valley.

Partnership Organizations

  • Fiscal Agent: California Bio-Mass, Inc.
  • Project Director: Michael Hardy, California Bio-Mass, Inc.
  • Key Partners: California Bio-Mass, University of California at Riverside, Riverside County Solid Waste Management Department, Waste Management of the Desert, Coachella Valley growers
  • Participating Growers: Rivera Farms, Peter Rabbitt Farms, Cal Redi-Date, Ocean Mist Farm, Lester Farms, Capurro & Sons, Star Route Farms, K&W Farms, Grimmway Farms, and Sun World.

For more information contact: Compost Use in Agriculture,