Compost Outposts: Butler’s Orchard

Butler’s Orchard is what family is all about. Owned and operated by the Butler family for three generations, with a passion for horticulture, the farm has expanded through the years. Butler’s Orchard is planted on over 300 acres of land in Germantown, MD.  The orchard grows more than 25 varieties of fruits, vegetables, flowers and trees and offers many family friendly activities to guests across the DMV and beyond.

As these guests look forward to picking their own produce and joining vibrant events hosted by the farm, Compost Crew looks forward to our partnership with Butler’s Orchard. In June, we introduced a new Compost Outpost® at Butler’s Orchard, the latest composting program operated by the experienced Compost Crew team. This modular food scrap composting site can be built in months, taking up less than a quarter of an acre of land. 

“We are delighted to add Butler’s Orchard to our expanding network of compost sites,” said Compost Crew CEO, Ben Parry.  “Processing these food scraps on the farm benefits the local environment by reducing driving time, and the finished compost provides a natural means of revitalizing the local soil.”

With Compost Crew, the farm will continue to grow thriving produce with a supply of compost that sits right on their acreage. The quality of soil is improved by compost, which enables it to retain moisture, air, and nutrients. These elements are much needed for healthy, thriving produce.

“Compost is an important part of our healthy farming practices,” said Ben Butler, a member of the third generation of Butler’s. He is responsible for crop production and day to day farm operations as the Farm and Finance Manager at Butler’s Orchard.  “This partnership provides us with a guaranteed source of high-quality compost for our crops without the hassle, as Compost Crew does the dirty work.”

The Compost Outpost® at Butler’s Orchard will process 20 tons of organic materials per month. This includes five tons of food scraps collected from approximately 200 Montgomery County homes.  All finished compost produced at the Compost Outpost® will be put to use on the farm, creating a circular system that minimizes the transportation of materials.

We were delighted to celebrate this opening with Montgomery Councilman Evan Glass, Maryland State Delegates Lorig Charkoudian, Brooke Lierman, and Emily Shetty and ILSR’s Composting for Community Director, Brenda Platt. Their support reflects pride in positive environmental practices and policies being brought into fruition.

“This composting site at Butler’s Orchard is a real game changer,” said Evan Glass. “Montgomery County currently produces 147,000 tons of food waste per year and this partnership is a step toward fully harnessing the power of our land so that we reduce our waste and increase our climate goals. This is exactly the type of partnership I envisioned when I passed legislation allowing farms to increase compost and mulch capacity. I’m delighted that our efforts have taken root and are ready to flourish.” 

The roots of the Butler family run deep here in Montgomery County, upheld by the “Butler Way”, a family expression used to define their dedication to supreme customer service and personal connections. These are fostered by their connection to tradition and family legacy. Compost Crew aligns with their nature-made family-centered mentality, making our partnership the perfect duo.

By: Dan Israel

Edited By: Carlye Brooks