From: Dick Gallien



The city of Winona may be the first in Minn. not adjacent to a power plant, that for the next two years will not be wasting its waste wood. Since 1993, this natural resource has been officially written off as “waste wood,” just $5 for a yearly burn permit.  

Few knew that on June 4, for the first time ever, bids were let to operate Winona’s compost site. At the June 21 City Council Meeting, the decision was finalized.

Today’s Tree Service of La Crosse had the low bid at $48,000. At Winona’s compost site, adjoining the sewage plant, they will chip and grind Winona’s waste wood, then truck it to power plants in La Crosse.

The Winona Farm at $49,500 offered to continue being open every day from dawn until dark, as it has been since 1990, with no charge for residential deposits of yard and wood waste and no charge for returning home with hand loaded manure-ized compost and wood chips. All of Winona’s “waste wood” would’ve been turned into biochar, lumber and firewood and these 175 acres would’ve moved toward becoming Winona’s Farm. (Read more about biochar at

Essential for The Winona Farm’s Community Service Compost Site’s survival during these next two years is a nonprofit to which this farm can be donated. For most, being a board member of a compost site rates only one step above being a board member of a sewage site. Hopefully a few of you have more vision for this farm than it becoming another wealthy family estate, in that it is protected from development by the Minnesota Land Trust.