By Ryan Vaden
An entrepreneurial Giles County farm is doing its best to redeem the perception of chicken manure.
In 1993, Rollins Farm added chickens – more specifically, their eggs – to its stock of cows and pigs. With thousands of chickens roosting, Ed and Teresa Rollins soon realized the potential for using the birds’ waste as fertilizer. Their composting efforts led to a partnership with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the University of Tennessee Extension Service to develop a new product: R-GROW organic soil conditioner.
Through a closely monitored five-phase system, R-GROW is a mixture of natural waste and fresh wood shavings, blending carbon and nitrogen to emit as little odor as possible.
The conditioner serves as an excellent choice for top dressing and soil incorporation. According to customers, the nutrient-enriched plants possess brighter colors, higher yields and healthier appearances after R-GROW application.
Ed Rollins traded in his former occupation for full-time farming in 1995. Now dedicating himself to ensure that his clients are fully satisfied with R-GROW and other Rollins Farms products, he seeks advice from professionals, collaborates with retailers and meets with customers face-to-face.
Ed and Teresa’s children, Debbie and Robert, also help run the farm, which is solely family operated. Established in the 1970s, Rollins Farm also sells fresh beef and honey. The soil conditioner contributes about one-fifth of the farm’s revenue.
Bulk and individual purchases of R-GROW are available at Rollins Farm in Prospect, and bulk can also be delivered locally. Learn more about how to order at www.rollinsfarms.com.