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

Maximum manure

using a modified Haul Master lawn trailer to haul 5 gallon buckets of horse manure

The new lawn trailer bucket hauler had its first horse manure run today.

My new method of stacking and strapping 7 buckets near the cab brings the capacity to 28...add one bucket to the nearby worm bin and then 3 trips with the bucket hauler and that equals a serious amount of organic matter.

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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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I'm told that around here in CA, commercially-produced hay has to be of a GMO variety that incorporates some sort of herbicide in it (obviously I don't know the details). This would mean that we can't get organic manure from anyone raising livestock unless that person feeds the livestock non-commercially-produced feed/hay. Wat concerns do you have, if any, about the feed source that goes into the manure you use, from the perspective of avoiding pesticides and herbicides and growing organically?

Comment by jen g Fri Jul 12 10:35:46 2013
jen g. --- Very thought-provoking question! I'm actually going to answer you in a post in a day or two, so stay tuned. :-)
Comment by anna Fri Jul 12 13:45:57 2013

Hi Anna,

The warning about compost is unfortunately very true. Though I doubt all compost has serious problems?

A good reference is a testing lab in Maine. They have an article about contaminated compost. Essentially an herbicide was used on hay that was later eaten by horses and that horse manure was used to prepare compost.

It didn't quite kill the tomatoes growing in it.

There are pictures in that article. If you search that website for contaminated compost and look for the article about tomatoes you will find it.

There is another article about 'killer compost' which is also worth a read. That compost was so toxic that it kills things near it!

Now Woods End Labs offers a test as to how bad a given batch of compost is!!

My conclusion is that off farm inputs are dangerous.


Comment by john Fri Jul 12 15:31:21 2013
Some of the herbicides in the aminopyralid group can be long lasting and can survive the transit thru a horses GI tract. They're great for managing a horse pasture because they are long-lasting, but the resulting manure is supposed to be kept out of the compost heap, as the warning on the containers states. Some compost sold to gardeners has been know to contain these chemicals. I'd like to think they made it there inadvertently rather than thru motives of greed.
Comment by doc Fri Jul 12 17:58:55 2013
I haven't really been following your saga of transporting manure in buckets, so maybe I missed something about improved efficiency by compartmentalizing your load for ease of loading/unloading/distributing, but couldn't you maximize your carrying capacity by simply raising the sides of your truck/cart bed with 2x4s & chicken wire walls?
Comment by doc Fri Jul 12 18:11:48 2013
Comment by anna Fri Jul 12 18:35:08 2013

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