Nature’s Way Resources (NWR) evolved out of a series of events that John Ferguson experienced, some of which were life changing. Over 20 years ago he experienced an allergic reaction to a common fungicide that almost cost him his life and took six months to recover.
As a result he started intensively studying the new research that was emerging on biological methods in horticulture and agriculture. Researchers have found that these methods work better and at lower cost than traditional methods. Many of these new methods require large amounts of organic materials processed into compost, mulch and related products.
John left the oil industry in March of 1993 with the plan to start a landscape company that provided low maintenance and environmentally friendly landscapes using the newer methods. This type of landscaping requires lots of organic materials, so he visited all the suppliers in Houston. He could not find a single supplier of high quality soils or mulches and no one had compost of any quality. This led John to find out what it would take to produce a few thousand cubic yards of compost annually for use in his landscape company.
He spent the next few months doing intensive research into large scale composting. It was not long before he realized that this was an emerging new industry with lots of research on the benefits of compost occurring around the world. As a result of his findings, which indicated the growth and benefits to society of a composting company, the idea of a landscaping company was immediately dropped. Since John had a strong background in soil science, during the next 18 months, John studied everything he could find on compost technology, attended national and regional conferences on composting, and visited commercial and public operations all over the United States and internationally. The visits included operations that were having problems as well as those that were very successful.
To test John’s ideas, a 20 acre tract of land was leased on the Sam Houston Tollway on the west side of Houston and operations commenced in November of 1994. The original business plan projected that 2,000 cy (cubic yards) of material would be received each month after an initial 12 month start-up phase. The company started receiving "tipping" (dump fee) revenue at its Houston facility in mid-November of 1994. By August of 1995 the volume of raw material received had increased to 12,000 cy per month. In 1995 revenues greatly increased which allowed for the purchase of the needed equipment which was very expensive. This convincingly confirmed John’s idea of the great need for this service in the Houston area.
As a result of the much larger than anticipated success, the type, size and amount of the required equipment had to be revised. At the same time, Waste Management of Texas (WMI) approached NWR about operating a small facility in Montgomery County to allow the recycling of grass and leaves from The Woodlands community. In December of 1995 a second location was established on FM 1488 just north of the Woodlands to collect and process grass and leaves. This site was an abandoned illegal dump site for woody waste from land clearing materials, hence a favorable lease was obtained to clean up the site and process the material. Also the City of Oakridge established a recycling program for grass and leaves and contracted with NWR to recycle their green waste material in addition to the Woodlands.
In the summer of 1998 a developer made NWR an attractive offer to buy the Houston property. The sale of the land allowed NWR to purchase the additional equipment that was required to be a fully equipped composting facility. As a result of the sale of the Houston property, in December 1998 the operation was relocated to the small four acre collection site in Montgomery County to start over. The majority of 1999 was spent in site preparation, finding new sources of feedstocks, redeveloping inventory, etc. This relocation allowed John to continue to develop and enhance processing and operational techniques to improve the quality of the products.
NWR was quickly recognized as the leader in the Houston area for high quality compost, mulches, soils and potting mixes. NWR has been recognized in many publications from The Houston Chronicle to The Wall Street Journal for the quality of its products. John’s personal yard and garden has been featured in several garden books and in Better Homes and Gardens.
Over time an assortment of sands, decorative gravels and rocks were added to the product line to provide for the needs of our customers. Additionally, NWR now carries several lines of organic fertilizers, trace mineral packages, and other organic supplies.
In January of 2004 the business was relocated to a 42 acre tract of land near the previous location across I-45, at 101 Sherbrook Circle. To allow NWR to continue to grow and provide for our customers, NWR added a bagging system and now has all of its products available in bags as well as in bulk. Bagged products are available at several retailers around town that specialize in organic products and customer service.
In 2006 Natures Way Resources won the Houston Chronicle Ultimate award for the finest and best quality Compost in our area.