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With all the Ick being found in manures can we turn it into good for the garden compost?  RSS feed

 
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For the last few years there has been a lot of articles warning of using horse manure and cattle manure that comes from animals treated with Wormers and other "Ick".
At the same time we have been warned about using materials that have been sprayed with Herbicidal Ick.
It is sad but factual that these items do create havoc when used in gardens or even on turf areas, so is there a way we can give these materials a "Cleanse" so they can be used without serious consequences?

We do have a way to neutralize all the Ick that is being used by non discriminate farmers, horse owners and others, that is the good news all who compost want to hear.
And Yes Ladies and Gents, we actually do have the magic wand available, it will take some time, but we can make these materials useful to growers of foods.

The secret is myco-remediation we can make fungi work the magic of breaking down almost all of the Ick compounds mankind has created in the name of pest and weed control.
To really make this method work as well as possible, we need to use a three step approach so we end up with Cleansed compost.

To make sure your finished compost is free of any Ick compounds we are first going to make a heap that is layered and we want to make this heap as large as is possible for our situation.
Once we get that heap created we are going to poke holes in it for air and we are going to make sure it gets hot, we are looking for week long temps in the 160 to 180 range, when we achieve this, we have already started the break down process.
After that hot week, we want to make some additions of bacteria, this can be any type of preparation you like to use, fermented, not fermented, it doesn't really matter how you create the organisms, what matters is that you add them to the heap.
We let this stew along for a week or two and we keep the heap moist, not wet but moist, this gives the bacteria time to do some of their work on the Ick as well as doing work on the composting materials.
Once we see goodness happening to our heap we want to create two or three types of mushroom slurry to add to the heap through new holes we poke into the center of our heap.
Now we are in the final phase of changing what might have been (or what we know is) contaminated composting materials.
As the fungi spread their threads of hyphae throughout our heap, the bacteria are traveling along those threads and these organisms are feeding each other, the bacteria are using enzymes to break down complex molecules, the fungi are doing the same and both are working hard to get rid of those complex Ick molecules, turning them into single atoms, no longer a threat to our plants, soil organisms or ourselves.

So fret not my fellow composters, We have the power to prevail and use materials others run away from.
We have the knowledge to be able to turn ravaged waste into plant and soil goodness.
We have FUNGI and BACTERIA as our tools and allies, victory will be ours.

Remember the formula for slurries is to fill a blender (or food processor) with mushrooms (though any kind will do, oysters are superior for chemical breakdowns) add water to cover and put on the lid and puree till smooth, dilute as needed and pour over and into your compost heaps.
Wait for around a month and turn the heap, when the compost looks nice and crumbly (as compost should) use in your gardens as usual.

Redhawk
 
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One of my biggest gripes about using manures on my garden is the huge amount of weed seeds, and new weed species that they can introduce. This method would greatly minimize weed seeds as well.

 
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I have always said that you can grow anything in any soil with the right amount of manure. Of course you'd also need water, light, and some seeds, and where I've gardened, a little lime. It's a shame that people are afraid of this great resource. I think what one needs to do is to evaluate where your manure comes from. My current source is a horse farm where the horses graze on two pastures that don't look to me as there are herbicides applied.  I don't know about the Wormers and I ain't gonna ask.

There aren't many options, at least to me. I can buy a bag of chemicals at the big box store or I can use compost, but can't produce enough for my needs. I could buy peat, which I've done, but this is too big a project for that cost. I could, in my area, buy mushroom manure, but that has the same problems and I can't analyze what goes into their product. I can assume the mushroom manure has been composted, and they say that it's been steamed twice. But then it's $35 yard and my manure is free. And then there's the municipal product which I would never even consider.

When I look at that pile I go to it's 20 feet down the almost cliff like slope. The pile at the bottom ain't that deep, but under the top layer there it's a nice black compost. It's been so wet lately that I can't judge its consistency. But I'm trying to build up a new plot that's an inch of sod on top of pure clay. I want to grow my root crops there next spring. I need to do this now. I'm going to go with the horse manure where I can park next to the barn where my product comes out of. I've been using manure for many years and can attest that you can live into your mid seventies using it in your veggie garden. This manure is said to be up to two years old. I'll just assume it's gotten hot enough.

 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau John, usually people who raise horses are not going to use any herbicides in their pastures.
If you are collecting manure that has self composted for more than a month, you are not getting any residual wormer contamination either.
Many of the horse breeders are going to the holistic methods these days and that would take away most of the commercial wormers since they are not part of the holistic regime.

Do consider the consequences of assumptions, they are rarely right in my experience.
 
pollinator
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Hau, kola Redhawk. What of persistent pesticides and the residues of medications from pyrolised and composted urban sewage?

On the other end of the spectrum, to what extent does this work with heavy-metals contamination, or toxicity caused by an overabundance of certain macro- or micronutrients, say, zinc, for instance?

Could you describe what goes on in these cases?

-CK
 
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I am probably correct in saying that 90% of horses in a 60 mile radius of me are fed baled hay daily. Either chips of square bales manually given, or a roundbale they can munch on 24/7.

"Horse quality" hay is its own thing compared to hay for cows. Roundbales for horses run $100, cow can be got for $40. Droughts can double that number.

Horse quality hay amazes me when i look at ads for them. "We spray anytime a weed pops up". Its almost bragging. Buy ours cause we spray more.

I guess the conclusion is clean from weeds is more important than clean from herbicides. Think about spear grass in the bale and the damage it can do to the horses mouth.

I continue to use it and built 2 mega compost bins (10ft x 10ft x 4ft) and can turn it with a tractor. 2 allows me to use one while another is being filled. Each pile sits a year.

Given all this bad i just typed,  here's the deal at my place. Innoculation is not needed(here). After a heavy rain, mushrooms sprout from all the manures. From the pile, all the way to individual poops laying in the field. Cow poop has a different mushroom than horse poop. Even the sprayed hay (the circle left on ground after a round bale is eaten) sprouts mushrooms.

My next goal is to decrease my animal count. Get down to a number the pasture can handle.  But horses, it will never happen.  They will always need hay. If you dont like grass , get horses. But they become family, so you do what you can (compost).
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Chris,
This is the definition I go by (for those who don't know) in the cases of pyrolysis.

Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures in an inert atmosphere. It involves the change of chemical composition and is irreversible. The word is coined from the Greek-derived elements pyro "fire" and lysis "separating".

Pyrolysis is most commonly used to the treatment of organic materials. It is one of the processes involved in charring wood, starting at 200–300 °C (390–570 °F). In general, pyrolysis of organic substances produces volatile products and leaves a solid residue enriched in carbon, char. Extreme pyrolysis, which leaves mostly carbon as the residue, is called carbonization.

The process is used heavily in the chemical industry, for example, to produce ethylene, many forms of carbon, and other chemicals from petroleum, coal, and even wood, to produce coke from coal. Aspirational applications of pyrolysis would convert biomass into syngas and biochar, waste plastics back into usable oil, or waste into safely disposable substances.



To further clarify how this process is used in Industries currently;

Pyrolysis is also used for thermal cleaning, an industrial application to remove organic substances such as polymers, plastics and coatings from parts, products or production components like extruder screws, spinnerets and static mixers. During the thermal cleaning process, at temperatures between 600 °F to 1000 °F (310 C° to 540 C°), organic material is converted by pyrolysis and oxidation into volatile organic compounds, hydrocarbons and carbonized gas. Inorganic elements remain.

Several types of thermal cleaning systems use pyrolysis:
Molten Salt Baths belong to the oldest thermal cleaning systems; cleaning with a molten salt bath is very fast but implies the risk of dangerous splatters, or other potential hazards connected with the use of salt baths, like explosions or highly toxic hydrogen cyanide gas.
Fluidized Bed Systems use sand or aluminium oxide as heating medium; these systems also clean very fast but the medium does not melt or boil, nor emit any vapors or odors; the cleaning process takes one to two hours.
Vacuum Ovens use pyrolysis in a vacuum avoiding uncontrolled combustion inside the cleaning chamber; the cleaning process takes 8to 30 hours.
Burn-Off Ovens, also known as Heat-Cleaning Ovens, are gas-fired and used in the painting, coatings, electric motors and plastics industries for removing organics from heavy and large metal parts.



What all that means to us is that if we can obtain materials that have gone through this process, we are dealing with things that have already been broken down (to a point) by extreme heat in the absence of O2 and thereby are supposed to have fewer large compounds.
In the case of most heavy metals, there isn't much breakdown since these are very stable molecules, but there will be some degredation of some bonds, making it easier to decompose the heavy metals in the presence of bacterial enzymes.
Time is our main factor once we have the organisms present in large enough quantities, the longer we can wait to attempt to use the compost, the better the break down will be.
In the case of zinc, there will be several different forms of zinc produced by enzymatic actions, some of these will be bound and not readily available to plants, requiring more enzymatic action before there would be an over abundance of water soluble zinc.

While all fungi work on breaking down certain compounds, some species only break down the specific materials they need for nutrients, others are non discriminant and will break down almost any mineral or compounded mineral they come across, other work in symbiotic relations with bacteria and other organisms to accomplish a total breakdown of compounds. This is why we inoculate a composting heap, to get specific organisms growing where we want them to grow.

Redhawk
 
John Duda
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When many are scared away from using manure that'll leave more for me and also give me a better choice.

My biggest problem is that I don't like manure where the animals were bedded in wood chips.

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Sorry John, the purpose of this thread is to remove the fears of using materials, not encourage the fearfulness.
But since this is a regional thing, and not everyone lives in the same region, your supply should be safe.

It sounds like you might be missing some really good composting materials by leaving wood chip bedding behind, but that gives others an opportunity.
 
John Duda
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Bryant:

Right now I have a sign down at the intersection with the main road requesting wood chips. I'm in the process of getting a new garden ready for root crops next season. I feel really well composted manure is better for that purpose than wood chips or manure that is 90% wood chips.  When I get a load/loads of wood chips then I'll consider shoveling manure on top. For that purpose I might use urine soaked wood chips, but would choose urine soaked manure if that is still available.

 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau John, I know you have a good plan in place already. 

I mix about 1 shovel of new wood chips to 3 of manure when I'm building a heap, urine soaking is always good for most of the browns we use in composting.

I don't have any horse guys near me that use wood chips but they do love wheat straw in my area.
The one race horse guy I know, I set up a composting site for him, his horses seem more like our donkey, they set up one part of their stall as the bathroom so most of his soiled straw comes from that space.
That's one of the things I love about donkeys, they set up a bathroom area so all the poop is easy to gather up (they use it about 3 times a day).
Do you add your urine production to your heaps? (I'm just curious about how folks use their own liquid nitrogen, I tend to spread mine around when working out on the farm).

It occurs to me that the manure/chip mix you mention could be an awesome fungi growing medium.
 
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Glad I read this. I was thinking the manure was 1/3rd and the chips was 2/3rd. 
I have a pile of horse manure that I got from a local ranch and was sitting all year.   I have a single axle dump trailer and the ranch owner says I can have all I want and he will make more.
This ranch uses straw but there are others further away that use wood shavings since there is an oak wood mill in our area.
I have some oyster mycelium in liquid culture form and will expand on to some MEA before putting into a bag of rye berry to get things started.  Then I will bury this into my pile and cover with a tarp.
If lucky I can get some oyster mushrooms and a lot of compost.
 
John Duda
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Bryant

I wouldn't mix browns into chips to create a heap. I have an immune system problem which causes fatigue and then the medications side effect is fatigue and it's an immune system suppressant. But I would mix while applying to a garden or bed. The last manure I got I hauled in 6 bags on top of the car and it took me about a week to get over the residual fatigue. I need 3 or 4 more loads. I no longer have a pickup and if I rent one I don't know if I could load it an unload it in a one day rental. I'm going to try loading it one afternoon when it cools down and then offload it the next morning.

I never had a donkey but once had a couple of pigs which always went in one corner of their way oversize pen.

I don't spread urine about because of the lot size and the problem mentioned above. But there is this one spot.......

 
pollinator
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John, please be careful handling compostable materials if you have a suppressed immune system.  Be sure to wear a mask if you are handling manure, hay, chips, etc.  It is easy to irritate the lungs and contract pneumonia or other infections when breathing dust and particles from these things.  I got pneumonia once from cleaning animal pens.
 
John Duda
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Not to encourage the fearfulness as I was accused. But I've already had fungal pneumonia when I first went on the immune system suppressant. Then years later I had bacterial pneumonia which I blamed on maple syruping in February. My doctors insisted it was actually from my hospitalization for the immune problem a month before. My doctors are telling me to stay away from not only manure but compost also. The fungal pneumonia is caused by pigeons only according to my infectious disease doctor. I've never had any exposure to pigeons or even lived in a building where someone kept pigeons on the roof. DW blames it on the neighborhood wild turkeys and the deer.

I only know that I feel much better than I did before I decided to partially ignore my problems and get out into the clean dirt. I wear a mask when I mow, and when I went manuring. I get fatigued from both. I mow my 3/4 acre and feel like I used to working 10 or 12 hours. I've lost 25 pounds and need to lose more. But I'm able to do so much more than when I sat around being careful. We made a peach pie from the peach tree I planted 2 years ago. I froze 3 pies worth of peaches and we plan on canning the rest this weekend. This is off subject, but I put the pie peaches in a colander and drained about 4 or 5 ounces of juice while mixing in a 1/4 cup of sugar. I used a King Arthur flour recipe and there was way too much flour even though I used 15 peaches and they said to use 10. Mine admittedly were medium peaches, theirs were large.

I try to avoid the deer sign. I shovel it up and dump it on the fruit tree seedlings I grafted this last spring. I'm being careful!

 
Tyler Ludens
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John Duda wrote:
I only know that I feel much better than I did before I decided to partially ignore my problems and get out into the clean dirt.



I'm glad!  I think garden soil is good for us.  Manure and fungus, maybe not so much!

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Turkeys can indeed carry the same fungi that pigeons carry, I'm not sure about deer but always better to be safe when dealing with immune system issues.
I hear you on the fatigue problem, I get to deal with that too from my cancer issues and the right leg not working so well since the failed artery operation. (I get to stop about every 100 steps so the leg will stop throbbing)

I was not accusing you of anything John, if I made it sound that way, my most sincere apologies.

Redhawk

Does your car have a trailer hitch? that would be great if so and you could find a fairly inexpensive trailer, that way any dusts from the manure would be less likely to get you on the drive home.
Peach pies are the bomb!
 
Dennis Bangham
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A thought on helping your immune system.  There is a lot of research showing the benefits of some type of mushrooms.  I use Mushroom Tinctures for arthritis and also an immune system boost.
Here is one article (Below), but there is a lot of medical research on Mushrooms as a treatment for effects of chemotherapy and immune system modulation.  Google Scholar and PubMed has a lot more information as well as WebMD and Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center on Integrative Medicine.  It won't hurt and it may help.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684115/
 
John Duda
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I appreciate all the concern and the useful suggestions. I think I owe an apology for getting off topic and dwelling on health issues.

I do not have cancer and am impressed with you Bryant, that you can do so much, and help so many here, while being saddled with your issues. I don't have a trailer hitch on my car and think I'd be better renting a truck than trying to get a trailer in to that site. There's a nice slope that'd enable me to use the couple 2x12's I have to ramp into the truck with a wheelbarrow. I wouldn't take a rental truck into that pile as the site has too many water issues to trust getting the truck out of there. I do have a 12 foot trailer that's 25 years old. When I replaced the wood floor I was unimpressed with what was left of the frame and that was 10 or more years ago. So I no longer use it.

As for the mushroom suggestion, Dennis, I do occasionally eat a dish with mushrooms and enjoy them. I wouldn't consider growing them. Since I got that one small load of manure, I see mushrooms growing all over my lawn. I think from the boots I wore there. I read the article you linked to and will ask my rheumatologist about the benefits to me. I'd assume they would help me from what I read.

Bryant you mentioned the turkey issues. From what I read, back then, dairy and poultry farmers don't get fungal (cryptococcus ( sic) ) pneumonia. But looking up the problem today I do read that poultry get the specific disease I mentioned. I also found my PCP's wife's name among the doctors referred to in the article I read. When I had the problem my Infectious disease doctor had said that he was following my PCP's wife's medication suggestions. About 30 years ago I did keep a few chickens for a short period. My own opinion is that most of my problems are caused by drug side effects and disease progressions as opposed to responses to what it is I did or what I'm doing. Except that I gave up sitting out in the February cold feeding logs into the maple sap boiler.

But back to the real subject of this thread I still suggest using manure to help you grow your plants. There's no way I could grow much in the clay I have here without vastly improving the soil. If your debating avoiding manure just follow the suggestions made here to mitigate any possible problems.

 
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