Hello. I'm new here, and my name is Kathryn. My husband and two friends of ours have recently purchased property in the Stevensville, MT area, and I'm here for a month trying to get a few things done before we move out here permanently. One of my tasks is to pile all the organic material I can find onto the plot we've designated for our future kitchen garden, and let the worms and the weather do their thing until we can be here full time, sort of a lasagnamulch thing. I have a ton of manure (the previous owner kept horses), plus old hay/bedding in various stages of decomposition. I was also thinking about ordering a few yards of MooPoo and having it delivered. Is anyone aware of any herbicide/pesticide contamination issues with MooPoo?
There are some pesticide concerns with moopoo. Actually I believe it is an herbicide called Malathion, malthion or something close to that. If it was sprayed on the cows pasture or hay it can remain persistent for years in their poo. Apparently it is commonly used in these parts(ID, MT) so ask your supplier. I guess you can test for funky stuff in the poo by planting a tomato straight in the manure and observing its health. Tis is the technique my,local nursery uses when they get new manure in......
I also recently moved to the area and we have 10 acres that have been sprayed with a persistent herbicide. In my quest to improve the soil, I purchased 12 yards of MooPoo compost and am not happy with it at all. First of all, the truck was not full. Then he dumped the "compost" and it is obvious that it is not "alive" and aged material. We have found out from a neighbor of MooPoo that, for some reason, they heat the manure to high temps before mixing into the "compost". Now we have a pile of sterile manure and sawdust from the cattle bedding sitting in our garden area. I would like to inoculate it with something to bring some life back. Would the mushrooms we see growing around help?
I am conducting a bioassay of the soil in different areas and it doesn't look good. The land was sprayed in 2012, but the bean seeds I planted have had poor germination and the ones that did come up have leaf curl and stunted growth. MooPoo assured me that they do not use herbicides. Nevertheless, I am conducting a test using half of the compost with good topsoil in which I have planted bean seeds. I will post when I have results.
Diane Sylling wrote: I would like to inoculate it with something to bring some life back. Would the mushrooms we see growing around help?
Did someone say inoculate? Fungi? Why yes, of course inoculation with fungi will help! Even plain old store bought mushrooms, Agaricus campestris, will work on improving the cow poo. That's because they are also known as "meadow mushrooms", the kind that live in the soil that cows plop on. They aren't the best at detoxifying herbicides and pesticides, that would be your white rot fungi, but they can make some progress.
If you want to do a little better than store bought mushrooms, and add some diversity to the fungal species present, you need to go on a trek in the woods. Find old rotted logs and turn them over and scrape up any white stuff under them. That is white rot fungi and if you whiz that up in the blender and sprinkle it liberally over the MooPoo, you'll get some needed fungal decomposition going. It wouldn't hurt to add a little fresh pine bark or oak leaves. That's more lignin to feed the white rot fungus.
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Tomatoes! Ha! Anyone can grow that. Amaze your neighbors, grow your own shirt!