Ray: Hello, soil lovers, and welcome to another episode of Secrets of the Soil. I’m your host Regen Ray And I’m so excited to dig deeper today with our new soil lover, Peter. Welcome to the call.
Peter: Thanks so much, Ray, and hello to all the soil lovers lovers out there. Really, really happy and excited to be here today.
Ray: Excellent. Well, thank you so much, Peter. I know that you’ve got an amazing product and a whole school of thoughts around composting and worm farms and your product, so I’ll let you share with our soil lovers what you’re all about.
Peter: Thank you. So our product is called the subpod , and it’s an underground worm farm that takes the smells, mess pests out of composting. And I don’t really think I want to sit here and talk about the product itself, but more about the story of how we got there, because it is a pretty interesting story. It’s a classic start story. We started started here in Byron Bay in a shed with a few of us with the idea of how do we make composting easy? And so we started a Kickstarter and that started to pick up a bit of momentum. And we had people from the US back in Australia and parts of Europe. And from there we were able to create the first prototypes and the first designs of subpod. And for anybody out there, wants a visual. It’s like a really big box, like a big esky, almost with hundreds and hundreds of holes in there and some ventilation at the top. So you dig this, put it in the ground. It’s a vermicompost system, and the worms live in their natural environment there so they can eat fast and they can breed faster and just makes composting a whole lot simpler. Yeah, I I think what we learned during this process, though, was I love to dive into this bit more is the it’s the community factor, which we found out very quickly that it wasn’t just providing people with a really easy way to compost. It was white. This is so much more. This is a movement. This is a community. And when people feel empowered to compost, it can literally change their lives. We’ve had so many great stories of that. Yeah, yeah, incredible stories of people just teaching their kids how to compost for the first time and and teaching their neighbours and schools. So, yeah, lots, lots to share their
Ray: love that and I noticed that you mentioned in your bio something about making compost sexy to find that what does it look like
Peter: making compost sexy? It’s something that I go to sleep with every night. Like, I question, how do I make composting sexy? And I suppose that came to me when I was when I was reading Buy me somewhere kiss the ground, probably about right when it came out five six years ago, there was a mention of an article by John Crawford, who is a professor at the University of Sydney, and he wrote this article named What would happen if soils run out. And he went through the the issues and really the problems of why aren’t we addressing the catastrophe of soil degradation? And he said, Well, we don’t find soil sexy. I was just I sat with I was like, Wow, why is that? And so much has changed since then. Of course, you’re now doing a podcast about soils and calling out soil lovers. Perhaps it wouldn’t be like that 10 years ago. And so when I think about making soil sexy, a big part of my role as community manager is spending time on social media. And of course, social media is all of it’s full of people trying to take the best photo of themselves, maybe a bit too many photos of women in yoga pants and and men and topless men. And so I wanted to put soil into that, like, how do we actually get these people who are really excited about using Instagram but get soil and gardening and composting in the process? And that’s that’s my mission.
Ray: Yeah, I love that. What a great mission. And I’m glad that you’ve shared that you go to bed thinking about that. And I agree, you know, for too long, you know, soils being treated like dirt, it’s been forgotten about. And you know, I am very proud to call our community soil lovers and really embrace that soil enthusiasm. And you know, my catchphrase is to dig deeper and get our hands dirty. You know, we’ve lived in this world of like germs and wash your hands. And unfortunately, I feel like that is not a step in the right direction. So I’m all here for your motto of making it sexy. It’s so good stuff, and you’ve spoken a lot about community, and that’s near and dear to my heart as well and hanging out with farming secrets and Helen and Hugo, they’ve always spoken about how, you know, the rural communities have kind of broken apart, and that’s what’s really caused a lot of these farmers to be isolated and and out of touch with their the local community. And, you know, the shops closed down and they become a ghost town. So I love anyone who’s working on community and you’ve mentioned that, you know, subpod has got a strong community. Can you share a little bit more about like why communities are important and how your product achieve that?
Peter: Sure. So when we look at we look at nature, I’m sure the soil lovers understand this when you look at the soil itself. It works in an ecosystem. And the larger the acre, the diversity, the more resilience we have. And so you look at look at the end that model, that’s kind of what we try to recreate there. And I think any community out there would try to recreate. For us, it was about creating another platform outside of Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, which is called the Grow Hub. And so this is a community which is organized by us. We have almost all of our staff on there answering questions, and we have people which is just putting up anything. They’re curious about composting, gardening wise, and that created a separate space that people can go on there. They can get their questions answered. They can have a have a yarn. They can meet up with other people that have a subpod or are just gardening locally. So that space is really important. But beyond that, we have had over 10 people that will share something about subpod and composting on their social channels every day. And that’s there’s a few reasons for that. But the main factor is that we’ve managed to create really good brand awareness with subpod and making giving you a feeling of curiosity and empowerment and fun. There’s so many messages when it comes to climate change and doing good for the environment, which can invoke fear. Well, we’re trying to change that by putting the fun back in know where’s the excitement? Like, I like to think about the carrot on the stick when, right, when we’ve got a carrot on a stick, which is fun and curious, and we tend to follow it right? But soon as you remove it and you’re just maybe whipping the donkey, with fear we go around as humans as we’re not really sure what to do. So that’s that’s yeah, that’s one of the big things we try to bring into all of our subpod content is from curiosity, empowerment, love.
Ray: There are some very powerful words there and done. And even like the fact that your community, you’re coming from marketing, we call this user generated content, you know, with communities creating the content, they’re asking the questions, they’re sharing the photos. That’s a very hard thing to achieve. And especially when you’re trying to build that community, you can sit out of sight out of mind. So kudos to you for creating such a strong connection to your community where they feel open and that space to share and be vulnerable and put those photos up and start conversations and questions. And then that gives others the confidence that they can do the same. And and that safe space is really, you know, really important in today because people are confused. I don’t know where to turn. I don’t know who who they’re supporting as they look out the window and it seems a little bit upside down. So if we can find that common ground of composting and worms and soils, it’s awesome.
Peter: Yeah, that’s a really good point. I think it’s it’s a snowball effect as well. It’s like once you reach that critical mass and you see enough people in there sharing like all it takes is a group and for it to grow. So however, I suppose some people out there that are in a similar situation, I know farming secrets. You guys have built an amazing community too as well. It’s like, how do we get those initial people excited and bring them on and keep it and keep them engaged and communicate with them just like they’re our friends? And from there it can. It can grow and they can start to engage with other new people.
Ray: Yeah, absolutely. You know, and that whole friendship and the relationship, you know, social media has put a lot of people feeling a bit more disconnected, even though we’re connected with so many more people. And I think a lot of people have a lot of shallow relationships, but when you find a common interest like this, it adds that level of depth, you know, and. And yeah, it’s it’s authentic. Yes. You know, and people say, Oh, how can you have a true relationship with someone online on the other side of the world? I will argue and say, maybe sometimes those relationships people and then your neighbor next door.
Peter: It’s so true. I think sometimes we can kind of cut the service and get straight to the root of what what really sparks us. And I have a couple of relationships with people in the US that use the subpod during winter because of course, it doesn’t get freezing cold here. We have a woman, Jordana, who has the Instagram happy composter, and she’s had support for two years, Marilyn. And she’s just experimental. She’s just been a really a-typical woman that cares about climate change, that has a son and wanted to start composting. And so she went through this entire process with her and her husband come winter. And I remember just talking to her about us. I try cold frame. I see how it goes. And she she did the research board. Called frame, and we now recommend that to all our other customers who want one. So it’s just like the the curiosity again and the willingness to just try something really helped her and that helped us in the process. It’s just give take relationship
Ray: crowdsourcing the solution to love it. And I think that’s near and dear to you if you’ve turned to crowdsourcing platforms to to launch your product. I want to go a little bit into that because I know that there’s a lot of farmers who and soul lovers who want to start enterprises and they’re a bit unsure, you know, they think it’s marketing and bringing people into their farm and all these other moving parts. And it kind of goes on the one day. Maybe it’s a bit too hard bucket list. So can you share any wisdom with listeners, whether they be soul lovers or farmers and even myself? Like, where do you get the confidence to do a Kickstarter? How did that work for you?
Peter: So just to be clear, my background in environmental science, so I haven’t had any training or any official training in business, and I’ve had to learn on the job and nobody needs an expert. I’m still learning every single day because of course, the trends change. But we were very fortunate. I was very fortunate to have a marketing guru on the team who Saadi Allan , who is the CEO of our company and was the marketing director for Flow Hive. So he was able to come in with a lot of the extant experience and some of the lessons that he has shared with me is to really listen, really listen to your customers who you’re trying to serve and find ways to connect with them, but not only connect with them. But to to be able to listen. And when I give you feedback, don’t freak out. That’s actually great. They’re speaking to you negative or positive. Use that feedback as quickly as you can to be able to change what you’re doing if they have enough and speak out. So that’s a successful start up, is being able to get feedback and able to adapt to it quickly and often. And that’s why small, nimble teams are really. Really important or not important is the wrong word, but really quick at delivering results. Just because you’ve just got to act really quickly and roll with the punches, have fun, get excited and there’s been tears in my journey, but there’s also been the celebrations. It’s a it’s a huge roller coaster. Yeah, there’s there’s so much to learn and there’s so many resources out there. So I don’t know if that answers your question. It’s I’m sure you would have a different experience, maybe similar in that the rollercoaster journey, but it’s really just just try it, just go for it.
Ray: I love the way that you’ve articulated that in regards that, you know, the small, nimble team can create those feedback loops and get stuff done really quick without the red type of middle management. And we’ve got to put this to the board and we need votes on the cycle. All that red tape really slows a business to quick launch and get started. And you don’t need to be an expert. You know, there’s so much access to information and working models, and we live in a world where you can just copy, paste or take inspiration. You know, you don’t have to copy and paste everything, but you know and find people in the ecosystem who have done it before. You know the fact that your CEO has been through a Kickstarter and maybe Kickstarter is not the right answer, but listening? I think that was your number one point. There is listening to that feedback loop, good or bad. You know, there’s a lot of magic in the bad feedback,
Peter: and that’s for me regarding, in a nutshell as well. I feel like a lot of these principles can be applied in the it in nature. It’s like, OK. I didn’t grow potatoes well this year, what happened? What was the feedback it gave me? So I wasn’t right. Maybe I didn’t plant in the right spot. Maybe I need to use other companion plants, but we’re constantly learning and applying. That same philosophy to business is just, I think it’s the way to to not get too frustrated with yourself because you’re going to make mistakes. As I said, there’s been a lot of tears and a lot of celebrations with us, and any time that I get frustrated with myself, I have to take a step back. I do have to do this regularly. I have to. I read an article on food waste and the bigger problem and then dive back into this, the everyday problems and feedback that I need to work through.
Ray: Yeah, I love that. That is just so true with the fact that nature is a great teacher. You know, I found that in my business world as well, I’ve learned all these frameworks and I’m like, Oh, nature does the same thing. And if we slow down and listen and watch and observe, we can actually learn a lot from from that and and talking about education and learning, it seems like that’s a big passion of yours. You’ve mentioned the word several times. It’s a massive passion of mine. When people come into your world and they’re exploring this world of composting and worm farming and reducing waste and organic matter. What’s something that you love teaching people where you just see them like, have an aha moment and kind of light up and go, Wow, I never knew that.
Peter: Yeah, it’s a great question. I think I want to answer this question by taking a step back because as I said, I come from a science background and I remember when I was getting into composting. I just love pulling apart the science and getting into the nitty-gritty . And when I first try to communicate this with people, they just want to sleep. They got so bored. Yeah, carbon to nitrogen ratio, anaerobic or aerobic, like just talking about all these concepts as people fell asleep and especially in when dealing with social media with Instagram or any of the others, it’s like giving bright side information that is going to appeal to that person in front of you. And I think that’s what I mean by listening, as well as being able to give a message that is going to resonate with them. So what I I guess how I kind of. Choose to to give the composting message is to look at your worms is to keep happy, happy ones. What are you worms made to be happy? OK, they like to be in a damp, dark and cool environment. They don’t want you there. I don’t want to be really flooded with food there. And so it’s just about creating stories, I suppose, and analogies, which are similar to our everyday life. This is probably a cool one I’d like to share with you. I probably borrowed this from some other people, but when I think about social structure, I think about it as a house itself and the biology. I like the blues and the nails which hold the structure together. And of course, that structure allows you to in a house allows you to have windows and plumbing, which of course, the windows is for proper airflow and the plumbing is for water as well. Without that structure, everything just crumbles. And so using those analogies of like, how you like soil biology, you are invisible. But imagine if your house had no nails, it would fall apart. That’s what these invisible guys are doing. Yeah, that’s where I like to get to be creative and have fun with it.
Ray: I love that. That is such a great analogy. I could picture it, you know, the house collapsing, you know, and that’s what we’re doing to the soils, you know, and I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve sat in rooms and watched videos and people pronouncing words with silent XS and YS, and I’m just like looking around in the room going, You’ve lost the whole audience. Like, no one is following what you’re talking about. And I think reading the room as a feedback and knowing your audience and who you are speaking to is a huge factor when, when educating. And so, you know, showing how smart you are doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone gets the aha moment that they they need. So I think there’s going to be a lot of people listening to this, imagining their house collapsing and and now replacing the soil and worms and and biology.
Peter: Yeah, I hope it doesn’t mean build with soil and microbes. Don’t get that confused. Yeah, it’s yes. It’s really cool to say that when people have that penny job and realize I might take, it might take a few. But it’s it’s OK. It’s about having fun along the way.
Ray: Yeah, love that soil lovers as you’ve been listening to Regenerate and Peter, he’s got an amazing T-shirt and we get to ask him what that means just after this quick break. Welcome back. soil lovers you’re hanging out with Regen Ray and Peter from subpod Peter, you have some inspiring words on your T-shirt and I’ve noticed that. And if you’re following along in the video version on the Soil Learning Center, you’re going to see it. But if not, Pete, what does it say?
Peter: Yeah, it says feed the soil, feed the world and it’s been the subpod motto since day one. The whole reason we chose these words to represent us is that humans have such a deep connection with plants. We use them for our food, for our medicine, from mental health. But we often forget about what is what is actually feeding the plants, the soil. So with the support in the community and our whole mission is to remember that the soil is a living ecosystem. And then when we take care of it, we’re actually taking care of everything that sprouts from it and all all the chain reactions that happen from there. So our number one mission and motto is to feed the soil. And in doing this, we hope it feeds the world.
Ray: Love that. And have you seen that narrative change over the years? How long have you been doing what you’re doing and has that narrative changed?
Peter: Yeah, it’s changed massively up here. I’ve been I. I graduated about ooff terrible years, probably about eight years ago, and I actually got a job straight off the bat as a soil scientist and was fired three months afterwards and kind of like ended up in a forest and was pretty, pretty depressed for a little bit because I felt that was going to be my trajectory to do something great. And from there, I realized that I wanted to connect with gardening and permaculture. So I’ve been from that journey that I was about eight years ago, and I got stuck into soils about five years ago, three years after that. And from the time I got up here, I’m living in Byron Bay right now for too much longer. There’s always been a huge, regenerative community here, but I’ve seen it grow significantly and I regularly go to the farm and there’s a patch there which I love living agroecology , which is run by women farmers in this 30s. And they’re just so knowledgeable, so lovely, tender and caring. They can work harder than me, and I don’t know how much that’s changed in the last five years, but it seems like that community is thriving. So I can only say, could the byron in here? But I’m I’m sure that in some ways it’s a bit of. A microcosm for other communities out there, too, yeah,
Ray: and if not, I think Byron probably ahead of the curve in regards to these movements and and connectivity and and I know a lot of people want to create the Byron Bay or Victoria or the Byron Bay of, you know, other states and parts of the world. And so it has that kind of branding of a very, very, you know, nice living and wholesome and connectivity and calm and and so I hope that’s the marketing side of it. And if it’s true
Peter: reaction, we’ve got cameras. Yeah, yeah. Well aware
Ray: of marketing. But that’s what people aspire to, you know, being connected and living in a much more simpler kind of lifestyle and and that connectivity from paddock to plate, you know, knowing where the food source comes from, knowing the farmer’s name, you know, what’s their family like and that it all starts at feeding the soil, you know, and if we get that right, everything above the ground kind of falls into place. Some, you know, very, very realistically in in some shape or form.
Peter: Absolutely. That’s where I I think that’s been. The coolest thing to witness is that people in their 30s, in their 20s are getting into this at a young age. And as you would know, and you’ve probably shared this many times as the average farmer in Australia is, it’s about 55 or 65
Ray: around 60 miles year. But from what I hear and say, yeah,
Peter: that’s right, and we have this huge revolution or this new wave of young farmers getting involved, getting their hands dirty, enjoying it and it’s becoming it’s a cultural shift. And that’s what I like. It’s I like to compare this these kind of cultural shifts with what happens in fashion. You all of a sudden you see a certain amount of people wearing the type of shoe and there’s a critical mass and then it really just explodes and it’s the same with farming. We like to think that we’re ahead of where we don’t do things for status and because it’s not cool, but a big part of us does, I think, and we’re kind of driven subconsciously by that. And it’s really cool to see that happen in the farming community.
Ray: Absolutely. And you mentioned the regenerative movement that’s happening in Byron Bay, and I’m seeing signals of that everywhere. And you just have to do a Google Trends search and see the trends are tentative, outdo everything else. So I want to know what does the word regenerative mean for you?
Peter: hu regeneration. Wow. It’s I want to give you some word definition for it, but that wouldn’t do it justice. When I think of regeneration, it’s just me being in a forest and that forest there continually exist on its own. It can respond to challenges, it can adapt to anything around it, and it has everything it needs to support itself. So there is that’s kind of the feeling I get when I when I think about regenerative, it’s being in a forest and it’s watching those ecosystems take care of each other and really be able to to to grow without taking from anybody else.
Ray: I love that. I love how you brought it back to yourself because to me, I’m a big advocate of regenerative starts with the soul and the person. If you have a regenerative mindset, a regenerative soul, you just see the whole landscape and the world from a different point of view. You heal opposed to doing harm, and you just took me into a place of like standing in a forest and seen it in its beauty and stillness. And it’s alive. You know, it’s there’s so much life there. And I think that that is a great place to take that question because it is unique to everyone. That’s why I ask it. But it’s um, it’s not just about the principles of what you’re doing on the paddock or what you’re doing on the land. It’s really about that place of zen and calmness, but appreciative that it’s evolving and changing. And yeah, I just you gave me goosebumps as you explained that. So I appreciate you taking me on that journey.
Peter: You’re welcome. Yeah. Another thing came to me, which a bit more textbook, but one of my teachers of the permaculture teach up here, Bunia, he often explains that with a spiral spiral going up, and I love that concept as well. It’s like sustainable is just a circle. It’s like we’re completing one round. We start again. But if it’s like now we’re going up, which is a third dimension. And so for the soil lovers out there, like we wanted a bit less, we will love
Ray: you, but we’re already in for the we. I say that to all the guests is, you know, we go where we’re hitting the nail on the head because that’s what we need to be more accepting of always that it’s OK to, you know, I always say someone has to label you. We agreed. That’s because they don’t know how to understand and put you in a box. And that’s their problem, not your problem. So I love that. Awesome. So you’ve touched on a lot of different ground, and I know you don’t wanna probably talk about your product a lot because you live and breathe it every day and it’s a bit normal for you. But I think it’s quite extraordinary what you’ve you’ve done. I want to touch on one principle because what I love about your product is that it’s connected to the ground and for the soul lovers who are unaware of it, and maybe you do a better job, but you’ve mentioned it as like a box that what I like is that it has holes so the worm colonies can come in and out of what you’ve created, which is very different to some other compost systems that may sit above the ground. Or I have a compost worm farm that’s sitting on Level 21 in the sky, not connected to the ground at all. That’s the best I can do. And so I’m grateful that I have the ability to do that, and that’s to give permission to everyone to do something rather than nothing. But love that your product is connected to the ground and has that energy in the mycelium network and the vibration and the energy connected. So why did you decide to make your product so connected to the Earth?
Peter: Oh, it’s it has so many benefits, allowing the worms microbes to venture out of the support. It makes the system so much more forgiving. Say if you add in too much, too much food waste, too much nitrogen and the temperature rises up, which has happened to me recently. Temperature went up to about 35 Celsius, which is what does that in Fahrenheit? Sorry, I can’t do the maths, about 90 percent of Americans. And that was about for three days. And of course, the world composting worms don’t like temperatures roughly over 28 Celsius, so the worms move out of the system and allows them to have more space. They can move out of the system. And this, I think, is like if you in a in a house and you have no air conditioner and you have no door, you’re going to really suffer. And I don’t like to poo poo any of the other worm farms out there, but that was kind of what it represents. The worms don’t have a way to get outside of the system. The worms can leave, they leave. The system cools down. They’ll come back in and eat the microbes. So that’s one reason that it allows the system to be a lot more forgiving. The second one, you already touched on it. It allows the plants to be able to connect with the soil and the compost and the microorganisms happening within support. So soil levels out there are well aware that a lot of plants out plants produce. Dates as dates fade, the micro-organisms and because the subpod there is just a thriving ecology, it allows a lot of those microbes to interact with the plants around them. So we just have amazing stories and results from these plants being so much more resilient and healthy and requiring much less water just because they are fed consistently from the support around them. Those are the two main reasons it’s more forgiving, more resilient system and allows the worms in the microbes to feed the plants directly. It’s very it’s very simple when you when people said like, Oh, why didn’t I think of that? Very simple. And it’s funny because it took about eight years to design and make. It was invented by an artist Andrew Harding, the phrases that came over here and bunch of us got involved. But it took eight years for him to come up with it.
Ray: Wow. So it wasn’t an overnight success. Like everyone says, things happen on the ice and
Peter: never is it. Maybe the idea came to him briefly, but the actual execution of producing the product and kick in the funding and everything. It was twenty years, two hundred thousand dollars around that, just for the mold itself. So yeah, it’s quite a very expensive, expensive endeavor just to get the mold.
Ray: You know, I love that and you know, he’s so grateful for platforms in this whole new, you know, crowdfunding way of thinking when people give money and wait for the product finished and delayed gratification. You know, teaching people to be patient and give money and wait for everything to unfold. And you don’t have to get investors involved and maybe you have hidden agendas and whatnot, you know, so a magical time that we kind of lived living the way we can ask for other people’s money and they give and then we also receive, you know, so it’s it’s very, very fun.
Peter: Well, said, yeah, it’s a beautiful system. It’s really thankful for those first initial people to back us and support us. But how great is that? People can take a leap with other people and get that community beforehand? I both said, right?
Ray: Yeah. And I can’t wait to see that transfer into like the the growing and selling of food model as well. Very big in America with CSA or community supported agriculture. But I want to see that trend take off here in Australia, where you actually invest in the farmer and the yields together, not just expect a subscription box of 20 kilos of X, you know. So being all in it together, I think, is a real magical way of of taking the reward and the risk wholesomely to put it together.
Peter: So do I. I would love to see more of that, and I would love to see more support and help for farmers because yes, we can do it all. As you said, we can be generalists and find ways to be digital savvy. But being a farmer, spending so much time out there on the field is probably the last thing you want to do is jump on Instagram and make website and design all this. I’d love to see more support out there to really be the middleman and help farmers design these processes. So yeah, and with all soil lovers out there we’re seeing that
Ray: and especially during COVID, there was a big crew, you know, you know, there was it was interrupted, the farmers markets stopped, farmers had to innovate, and it also made farmers realise how hard marketing was or having farm gate set up and selling directly to buyers is a bit more difficult, and it took them away from innovating in the shed or planting the next season. So, you know, and then, you know, people created websites and e-commerce platforms, so lots of innovation happening. So I love seeing that kind of happen and the community solving those problems and co-ops, you know, people bringing all their food to a co-op shared and then distributing from that also was increased. And people realising that you can buy directly from a farmer like that was a bit of a mind blowing experience for people when there was food shortages and empty shelves in supermarkets like that’s
Ray: buy directly from the farmer.
Peter: You know where it is comes from a farm, not a factory? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s right. I would love that. There’s so many people that I’ve had conversations with that have been inspired by growing their own food, just just a herb, just the lettuce. And from there, recognizing how much effort it can take sometimes to grow something and really started to respect and have compassion and and more support for those local farmers. So it is amazing those ripple effects can happen by just growing your own food.
Ray: Yeah, 100 percent. I was saying the same thing to someone you say about people growing carrots and going, Wow, carrots are so hard to grow. How do they sell it back at ten for a dollar? Like, that’s not fair. I’m like, Yeah, and now you realise you know what’s actually happening behind the scenes. So the challenge of growing during COVID really highlighted how much we’re not paying for food. You know how little it’s its price. So I think there’s a lot of aha moments and maybe this was, you know, the wake up call of the shake up that we all kind of kind of needed and changing that kind of cultural shift. And, you know, I grew up in a. Have a retro suburbia kind of environment being European Italian settlers. You know, there was no grass, it was just vegie patch. And I’ve made videos on YouTube about it and taken people through tours. So having a compost bin or a section of the yard where you just threw all the clippings and all the, you know, chop and drop stuff was normal for me, I didn’t realize that it was such a out of the norm environment. So how do you like how do we create that culture shift around composting and, you know, growing our own food and having compost? People see compost as like smelly, dirty worms, bugs, eggs, rotting mold. So it has a bit of negative connotation to it. But how do we change that cultural shift?
Peter: It’s funny, as you say in that story, it’s like it’s gone full circle. Our grandparents did it because it just made sense, like recycle for those nutrients back into the soil so we can grow more food. But all of a sudden, we’ve lost that incentive and need to grow food and maybe that passion love, then there’s no point for the composting. So even if you aren’t growing your own food, the of course, the climate change reason comes in there. And soil lovers out there. I’m sure they’re well versed on when food waste goes. Landfill produces methane 20 or 30 times more potent than CO2, so it’s a big part of that is educating people on the impacts of food waste going to landfill. That’s number one. But how you do that is really the critical part here, because again, if we do that in a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety, then it’s going to turn people off. So creating that culture is about, Hey, look, guys, is this really big problem? But it’s actually a really big solution because all this food waste can turn into compost, so you can use that for its soil and food. And it’s like, Well, what has happened? You guys just took a linear model and turned it into a circular model. So I think that’s what where we need to do. And that’s there’s lots of companies out there doing it, and we’re doing our little bit piece of the puzzle here. And it’s really just telling people out there that you can do it. Those challenges that you have out there, mold with rats, with the smells, with with anything out there that turns you off composting. There’s actually someone out there that looks exactly like you has the same problems and is now a compost champion. Yeah, come and have a look at them. So that’s that’s I guess what I need when I tried to stretch the boundaries and find people that probably am very similar to you that are doing it.
Ray: I love that compost champion. That’s definitely something that I’d love to have, you know, badge of honor to wear. What a great way to to identify as. So thank you for sharing that, and I think that is definitely, you know, the culture shift that needs to happen. And you’re right. You know, it blows my mind that people would remove that organic matter that could add fertility to the ground and then go and buy fertilizers to put that fertility that they just took off. You know, it’s like, it’s crazy.
Peter: Yeah, it’s it’s it’s it’s and it’s it’s simply what I see people, a lot of people out there just unaware or unaware. We’ve missed a generation our grandparents are doing of maybe our parents when I’m talking in this case, my age, probably different for everyone listening. A living compost is just so much more potent and higher quality than anything you can buy in the shops. When you buy compost from shops and goes to a pasteurization process, they have to heat it up, kill all the pathogens that kills off all the beneficial microbes. So you’re far better off on making your own compost. Even a little bit can go such a long way. So, yes, if you’re into gardening, like making your home compost is one or one, and it can be easier than what you think of that.
Ray: What a perfect note to wrap this interview up. Are you ready to be the voice of our soils, Peter?
Peter: I’m a little bit nervous, but yes, I’ll I’ll try, and that’s awesome.
Ray: Let’s do this. If you could become the soil and embody its energy and be its voice. What would you say to us on Earth?
Peter: I just got a really dark image in my paper in my head. But it, yeah, because it’s about embodying the soil. You will all. And up with me and you will begin with me as well. So by treating me with love and care and another word to be able to, what can I say here? And compassion, really by treating me with love and caring compassion, you can really, really. Oh, you’re only helping yourself. It wasn’t that long-winded no i love that long winded.
Ray: I love that, you know, great words, their love, compassion, and you start with me you end with me. Like, I think that’s a real important part to identify, you know, you with, you know, so what we do with it during that time is will make or break us, you know, and I think it’s very, very important to sit with that. So thank you for being the voice of our soils.
Peter: You’re welcome. Thank you for asking the question and thank you to the soil lovers out there that are listening today. Really, really appreciate your time, and I hope you will composting out there. And if you’re not, then I hope you’re a little bit intrigued and you’ll give it a go.
Ray: Absolutely. That’s the best we can ask for is to plant a little seed and open up that curiosity and, you know, make your own pathways to dig deep. Peter, how can people hang out with you more and find out more about your amazing product subpod
Peter: So if you are on social media, you can jump on to subpod just on Instagram or on Facebook, where we’re most active on Instagram. Or you can jump online to our website support dot com. And for our online community, it’s the grow hub subpod Dot com and that will take you to the community of subpodters and composters as a constantly sharing things
Ray: of that. All those links will be around the video if you watch it on the Soil Learning Center or around your favorite podcast platform. I have to say I’ve been a follower of yours for a very long time. I loved all your videos going out in the garden. You know you’re making demo videos on your Instagram. It’s really educational. So I recommend everyone go out there and and have a look at the product and see it working and and you’ve done an amazing job to really show how simple this mindset shift can can be. And kudos to you and the team for connecting that to the ground, because that’s definitely near and dear for me.
Peter: Thank you. Thank you so much.
Ray: Excellent. well soil lovers . That’s been another episode where we’ve got our hands dirty and digging deeper into the wonderful world of soils. Make sure that you’re liking this podcast and sharing it with your friends, family and people that you know, because without soils, as you’ve heard here today, it is. It is the foundation of the house that we need to build. So get outside, get into the Sun, get your hands dirty, become a compost champion and regenerate our soils until next time I’m regen ray.