The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Freddy's dump truck

Freddy with his dump truck of horse manure

We met a new neighbor today.

Freddy sold us a dump truck load of his horse manure for 75 dollars.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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How close to the homestead did he deliver???
Comment by Tom Fri Jun 24 18:47:37 2016
Could only deliver to our parking area.
Comment by mark Sat Jun 25 08:24:35 2016
Do you get problems with aminopyralid contamination in your area? Here in the UK you have to be very careful where the horse feed and bedding is coming from, and what the pasture has been sprayed with.
Comment by Peter Sat Jun 25 09:13:19 2016
Please please make sure he wasn't feeding his horses treated feed. Some brands have an herbicide that passes through the horse's digestive system and is deposited on the field to kill weeds. It will poison your gardens. I don't use horse manure for composting for that reason as many horse owners don't know what is in their feed.
Comment by Craig Sat Jun 25 09:20:20 2016

Thanks to all the folks who warned about herbicide and other contaminants in the horse feed. I was unaware of that.

Also around here in NE TN, we can get a dumpload of manure for $50.

Comment by Nayan Sat Jun 25 15:23:19 2016
It seems that growing some broad beans (fava beans?) in it is a good test. They are very sensitive to this sort of contamination.
Comment by Peter Sun Jun 26 09:42:48 2016


  1. Take small samples from various parts of your manure heap, mix them together in a pot and then combine them with the same quantity of your soil.
  2. Put the mixture into a 15 cm pot or similar and plant up with broad beans seeds. This quick growing broad leaved crop is particularly and obviously susceptible to aminopyralid contamination.
  3. Plant up another 15 cm pot of your garden soil with broad beans at the same time as a control. Do not stand the pots on the same tray, otherwise the aminopyralid will contaminate the control pot.
  4. Place the pots in a sheltered position, such as a cloche, cold frame or greenhouse to get quick growth of the beans, especially if testing in the Autumn or Spring.
  5. Compare the leaves and growth of the test pot and the control pot. If the leaves of the growing seedlings become distorted and unnatural, as shown in the photo on the right, then assume aminopyralid contamination, and do not add the manure to your soil.
Comment by Peter Sun Jun 26 09:50:39 2016

Also try:

Comment by Peter Sun Jun 26 09:53:21 2016

profile counter myspace

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