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Urgent compost question !!!  RSS feed

 
Danny Boosten
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Hello permies

I can buy 20 tons of horse manure 10 years old the structure looks perfict my only question is
has it lost its power or nutriants after being in a pile for ten years

Does anybody have experiance with old manure ?

Thanks already
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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After 10 years, I'm certain that a lot of the nitrogen has been lost to the atmosphere (and to the soil beneath the pile). However, it is still 20 tons of good quality organic matter. Personally, I would buy it (if the price was right), as it would make a good soil amendment, or excellent mulch. You shouldn't have to worry about it 'burning' your plants.
 
Danny Boosten
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Thanks for the fat reply John I have no idea what normaly manure costs per ton i use my own horses manure its
The guy said i can have it for a 100 euro delivered

Ps I can get treated human manure as much as i want for free frow a waste water facilaty it has been treated the say they make compost for the city trees and gardens from this but the farmers around me say never to use it i have a friend who works there and he say's its ok
Does anyone have experiance with this its not compost yet !!

Thanks
 
Josef Theisen
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Location: SE Wisconsin, USA zone 5b
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Personally I will not use human manure from a municipal source for food production. In my area there is even a product called Milorganite which is compost made from treated sewage from the city of Milwaukee. The problem is that many of the medecations people are taking will pass through them and survive the composting process. It is not feasable to predict the results of such a massive chemical cocktial.

I would have no problem using the composted waste from people who only ate real whole food and diddn't take any meds, but I have no idea where such people are found.
 
Danny Boosten
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That was my first reaction to but all the people who make compost from there one manure i started thinking this could work
maybe for my fruit trees or i want to start first pioneering with trees and then fruit trees maybe this free waste can be used ?
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Antibiotics can be a significant byproduct of human waste. Much of this medicine survives both the human, and public waste systems. When it gets into your compost and/or soil, it does what it is designed to do: kill bacteria, both its target, and many that are needed for living soil.

It can seriously disrupt the healthy balance of your soil.

Many doctors overprescribe antibiotics for every sniffle, and in many parts of the world, people self-prescribe them where they are readily available without a prescription. Bad medicine for soil, and dubious for humans and other creatures. With each new batch, comes a new breed of bacteria that becomes immune to it. Natural immune systems are weakening by this overuse of synthetics. It is in too much of the foods we eat.





 
Danny Boosten
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I think your right better to leave big quantaties of that kind of waste in the city !
 
Ken Peavey
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Location: FL
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Horses are plentiful around here. I can get a similar deal as yours-all I want for the cost of delivery. I have had bad experience with free manure. Free is not necessarily a good thing. Horses are frequently dewormed. This medication can remain active, even after passing through a horse and left to the elements for years. The result is a decline in the worm population in the treated area. You add organic matter, but the creatures which would put it to use in bringing life to the soil is destroyed. Hay growers treat their fields with herbicides which can remain effective as with the meds. The result is a garden where only grass will grow.

If you choose to use municipal waste, I would not consume your harvest.

 
Arrow Durfee
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I have greater confidence that the composting process and a living soil will render these antibiotics and other drugs into lessor organic compounds in short order. I wonder if any studies have been done on this issue. They use composted human waste all the time in Japan, so maybe studies have been done there.
 
Arrow Durfee
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I have greater confidence that the composting process and a living soil will render these antibiotics and other drugs into lessor organic compounds in short order. I wonder if any studies have been done on this issue. They use composted human waste all the time in Japan, so maybe studies have been done there. I would be more concerned about industrial chemicals and cleaners that might get in there.
 
Dave Miller
pollinator
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Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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Many years ago I rented a backhoe and excavated all the dirt around the outside of our basement (foundation), so that I could seal it well. I put all the extra dirt in a pile at the edge of the property. I had access to as much free old horse manure as I wanted, so I decided to backfill with the horse manure compost, for the following reasons: 1) to allow rainwater to more easily pass from the surface down to the french drain which runs around the outside of the footing (previously it was mostly clay); 2) I did not want to have to rent the backhoe again; 3) to be able to plant in 7 feet of rich compost . The earthworms went crazy in the compost, reproducing like mad. When we had heavy rain, to avoid drowning the earthworms climbed up the side of the house, and on occasion through the drains in the windows, into the house, down the wall, and across the carpet... For a few weeks we would come home to 1 or 2 dehydrated worms in the middle of the living room, which did not make my wife too happy.

But the "worm bloom" passed, leaving beautiful compost soil.

So anyway if there were drugs in the manure, they sure did not hurt the earthworms.
 
Danny Boosten
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Thanks for everybody's input I had another question when i make compost and i give it ground water to get started and i turn it i don't realy see any steam but when it rains it steams the same day or when it is realy misty its the best i think it's becous of the bacteria in the air that gets mixed with the water and compost Does anybody have the same conclusion ?
 
James Flour
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Location: PNW
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Danny Boosten wrote:Thanks for everybody's input I had another question when i make compost and i give it ground water to get started and i turn it i don't realy see any steam but when it rains it steams the same day or when it is realy misty its the best i think it's becous of the bacteria in the air that gets mixed with the water and compost Does anybody have the same conclusion ?


I would hazard to guess that either your pile is a bit dry and the extra rain pumps it up to be active again, it is still cooking away in the middle but the dry material around it is a good insulator and keeps the heat in until the extra moisture allows it to escape (moist material transmits heat faster than dry) or the pile is hot and working, just the moisture coming off is not noticeable until the humidity is high enough to make the moist exhalation from the bacterial action to start condensing as visible steam instead of evaporating off in dryer air: like a hot cup of tea in a cool moist room opposed to a dry warm one.

Either way, if you have visible steam without digging holes in it your compost is working really well.
 
Danny Boosten
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Ok maybe i schould frame my question different its not only i can't see steam when i use ground water but when i stick my hand in there it is not warm at al and i am keeping it wet enough i think the same as when it rains i even bought a termometer and when it is misty a day or rainy the temprature realy reaches 70 degrees celcius ! I was just thinking when we make cheese we just leave it in a big box and wait for the bacteria from the air i thought it worked the same with compost I am not complaining my dog likes to hide egs in ther and they are cooked after a day so its just i can notice big swings in temprature
 
Kevin Longeway
Posts: 17
Location: Calgary, Alberta
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I as well have access to horse manure, sadly it is a little far to make it worth hauling tonnes and tonnes of it. I asked around if any wanted it and many permaculture community folk said no because they had been burned by a herbicide that had been heavily sprayed on the horse pastures south of the city and it remained in the manure and killed some of their gardens. These people say they have not sprayed and only feed organic hay but I am going to pay for a couple samples to get tested before I take any, as they have only owned the stables for 2 years and the person before them started this massive pile. I think it is worth a little money to get a sample checked before you take it.
 
Karl Teceno
Posts: 91
Location: Portland Maine
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We live in the city. My wife has two horses that she boards about 8 miles away. She brings home 3 or 4 five gallon buckets (with lids on them) in her VW Beetle everytime she visits her horses. I prefer green, not aged manure. I use a layer of shredded leaves then a layer of the manure, alternating until the bin is full. I wet it down as I layer it. In about 3 days, the pile is steaming and extremely hot. After 5-6 weeks, I haul it to the garden (all but the outside edge which is not broken down) It makes great compost.

Karl
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