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

New manure source

Shoveling horse manure

Oh, glorious horse manure! Free for the shoveling at the fairgrounds, we stocked up on a truckload of moderately aged (but still hot) organic matter.


Like most stables nowadays, the fairgrounds beds with sawdust (back pile) rather than with straw. And even though that means the combo composts a little slower, I have a feeling we'll be happy with the results.

Horse manure loading

Mark's already happy with the way the pile has been pushed back against a wall so you can stand on the pile or the tailgate and shovel horizontally rather than tossing it up into the truck bed. We filled up the truck in half an hour and I'd used every bit of the organic matter by 1:30 pm. More on garden applications in a later post.

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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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Be careful that weed seeds aren't in the horse manure. My neighbor and I got truckloads of horse manure from a pool client of his and the damned thing had crown vetch seeds in it that kept sprouting, and sprouting, and sprouting, and sprouting and I'm still picking the seedlings in it five years later. Oy!
Comment by Nayan Wed Jun 6 10:00:57 2018
I've heard finding out what the horse eats is important to avoid any pesticide residuals. Please advise as I'm about to have a new neighbor move in who is willing to give me their horse manure.
Comment by Karen Wed Jun 6 13:29:18 2018

Most horses are on a strict worming regimen so it's helpful to find out what type of grains and supplements the horses are on. And it's very rare to see organic equine horse feeds.

That being said, we gets loads of horse manure/shavings dumped here for free and I reuse it as bedding for the chickens and as a top dress for the pasture. Great stuff!

Comment by Nita Thu Jun 7 09:58:36 2018

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