Ocean Crest Seafoods Inc., Neptune’s Harvest Fertilizer’s parent company, in Gloucester, MA, inadvertently ended up in the organic fertilizer business. A wholesale fish and seafood company established in 1965, Ocean Crest had a need to dispose of the fish remains, called gurry, that are created after processing. Gurry makes up 60 to 70% of the fish after it is filleted. Initially, a plant in Gloucester was taking the remains and turning it into pet food, but in the early 1980s, this company went out of business, leaving all the fish processors in Gloucester high and dry.
“We were all paying fishermen to bring it back out to sea and dump it,” recalls Ann Molloy, director of sales and marketing. “This was expensive, wasteful and bad for the environment.” So Ocean Crest got together with researchers from the University of Massachusetts’ marine science research center and developed the process of turning the gurry into fertilizer, which allows the company to utilize 100% of the fish.
The products that this collaboration came up with are beneficial to the environment in more than one way. First of all, the products are organic. “To make our products, we use what nature has given us from the mineral-rich North Atlantic Ocean, which is nature’s perfect source for the nutrients plants and soil need,” says Ann.
Secondly, the company uses every part of each fish and shellfish, so there is no waste that is being dumped back into the ocean or sent to landfills; instead, the “waste” is used to help grow stronger, healthier plants. “We are constantly growing and innovating,” shares Ann. “The process we use did not exist before we developed it. We are currently looking into new and exciting products made from other seafood by-products.”
Neptune’s Harvest Fish Fertilizer differs from Fish Emulsion in many ways. First off, it does not stink like Fish Emulsion. This is because the fish comes off the boats fresh and is filleted, ground and stabilized the same day. Also, it is not cooked. It is cold processed so the heat sensitive nutrients are intact. Unlike Emulsions, it is made with several species of fish caught well offshore in clean, cold waters.
“The whole world use to be under water. They found fish fossils on the top of Mount Everest. Ever since then it’s been demineralizing. By adding products from the ocean back to the soil, it replenishes it and brings it back to life,” says Ann.
The company is always looking for other environmentally friendly products to complement their line, which includes the Hydrolyzed Fish Fertilizer, Fish-Seaweed Blend, Seaweed Plant Food, Crab Shell, Kelp Meal, and Turf Formula.
The trend toward organic products has never been stronger. “We feel very strongly about sustainable development. Everything we do is toward that goal. We need to love our Mother Earth.” Ann says the overarching goal of Neptune’s Harvest is to produce organic fertilizers that work better than chemicals so more people are using organics and protecting our land and groundwater.
“We sell to big farms, small home growers and everyone in between,” she explains. The more chemical growers we can convert to organic, the better off our planet and all of us will be. Profit comes when you are doing the right things and putting the planet and its people first. We believe fully in karma. What goes around comes around and if we are doing the right things, it feels good and good things come of it.”
The company’s plan for the future is to continue to expand the market for its products and to keep developing new organic products that will help the environment. “We recently bought a huge warehouse to continue our expansion,” shares Ann.
A final fun fact about Neptune’s Harvest is that it is a family-run businesses. Out of 45 employees, 16 are family.
The following Neptune’s Harvest dry products are tilled into the soil before planting:
KELP MEAL 1-0-2
• Ascophyllum Nodosum (Norwegian kelp) Dry form
• Add to soil or potting mixes
• Contains many trace minerals
• Adds organic matter and helps retain moisture
• Builds a strong root system
• Excellent for gardens and lawns
CRAB SHELL 2-3-0
• 23% Calcium and 1.3% Magnesium
• High in Chitin (Kite-en)
• Controls nematodes, grubs, ants, slugs and fungus
• Adds organic matter to soil and retains moisture
• Excellent dry organic fertilizer
For more information on Neptune’s Harvest Organic Fertilizer go to neptunesharvest.com.
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