Garden Trek III: The search for Shat

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(my apologies for the title - I'm a Trekkie. Just bought a Spock shirt, in fact)
Anyway, today I called numerous places, and visited several large stores and garden centers in search for "Composted Cow Manure".
In the past, I've been able to find this stuff everywhere in the Spring. Even small hardware stores had bags of it outside the store for adding to the garden soil.
Now, they all seem to have bags of "topsoil" instead, or maybe a bag of humus. The small garden center where I stopped this afternoon said they had 40 pound bags of (and I quote) "hummus". Now I like hummus, but usually on crackers, and not as a soil amendment. I'm assuming that guy doesn't put this on his crackers, hopefully.
Anyway, I tried Kroger's, Mal-Mart, hardware stores, and none of them had plain old 100% composted cow manure. Mal-Mart did have "compost WITH cow manure", but I wanted the nutrient rich cow manure compost that I'm used to putting under trees, shrubs and vegetable plants when I put them in the ground. I'm a crotchety young gardener who is used to doing things about the same way as I was taught when I was 3, and I'm wondering where the poop went.
Is there a national shortage of poop that I'm not aware of? A poop embargo of some foreign country that gives us more crap than anybody else?
Ah, if only I had this guy nearby.....
http://www.artpricer.info/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/elephant-poop.jpg
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Ohioguy wrote:

When planting trees and bushes and tomato plants, you can always put a shovelful of the ever-present dog shit into the hole, then cover it up a bit before you set the plant.
Bob
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Never use cat, dog, or pig manure in vegetable gardens or compost piles. Parasites that may be in these types of manure are more likely to survive and infect people than those in other types of manure. It is also important to keep your pets out of your vegetable garden. <http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/htmpubs/2510.htm
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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any manure from an animal that eats meat or will eat meat (including humans) can and has kept the e-coli bacteria cycle active. So, no, never use this type of "manure" on your garden(s). Natural grass eater (cow, horses, etc) should never be fed any type of animal by-product as it, too, can and has transferred e-coli. Slaughter houses where making extra $$ at our health expense. I do have concerns seeing cow manure mixed with water and then used to fertilize fields. These same fields are utilized as pasture or for making hay bales. So back into the cow it goes.
And e-coli is another reason why everyone should wash their raw vegtables bought from a chain store, such as strawberries, lettuce. It's not hard to figure out why.
I'm very grateful that I live in a small enough town that uses not use recycle human waste. The larger municipal's state that their water meets EPA guidelines for drinking water. Guidelines are not good enough for me. They can make all the claims they want regardings recycling human waste products and it's safety, but, nope, I aint a gonna drink it.
Donna in WA zone 8-9
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Lelandite wrote:

You do realize that position is not sustainable? All water is recycled waste by now. The same water gets used over and over again countless times. Cow manure has been fertilizing grazing fields for eons.
Bob
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Most species of E. coli are harmless and serve to crowd out pathogens in our intestines. O157:H7 E. coli is a different matter. It arose from feed lot operations (CAFO), and has been responsible for a number of deaths from spinach to undercooked hamburgers. The presence of E. coli indicates fecal contamination.

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- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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wrote:

tell that to the snow-capped mountains. And don't even go to evaporation. There is newness.

Grew up on a farm. And you're right, cow manure usually stayed where it was plopped. But back in those days, farmers did not fertilize their fields with water and manure. It just didn't make common sense then. I still say it doesn't.
Just one of the things people will disagree about depending on where they were raised and how life was during that time period. I do know that kids never died from e-coli back then. Farmers seemed to just know that feeding any type of meat by-product to grass eater just didn't make sense.
Donna

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I have a feeling that nature can all by itself can create new deadly diseases. Not all new deadly diseases are man made. However, with bad human habits the human race can speedup natures wrath.
Hmmm... I sometimes wonder about the ways farmers use to do things.
I wonder if the old way were truly sustainable. The way the worlds population grows, was it not easier just to keep planting and taking without extensive fertilization. When the land gets exhausted, sell the land to a home developer and by new untapped land for farm use. Then repeat the process? This has been going on for thousands of years.
Now that all the land on this planet is accounted for by overpopulation. Can any land be truly self sustaining? I am always buying extra: compost, lime and organic fertilizers for the land. I often Rob Peter to pay Paul! I save my grass clippings and straw for the compost piles to feed my vegetable gardens. When the grass suffers, I buy fertilizers for the lawn. I have my doubts about the human race being truly self sustaining.
As for the water supply, I do believe that the water you drank today may have come from some dinosaurs piss. But the human race with their new products are binding up lots of water in man made products that will never be recycled back into the water supply.
Doom and Gloom... Dan
--
Enjoy Life... Dan

Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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(large snipping took place; but no one was hurt)

I'll have to disagree with you on farmers practices. Farmers were and still are some of the poorest people on this earth. Production means $$ in the bank so farmers quickly caught own to crop rotation. Farmers may sound dumb sometimes but they aint. When they did chop up their fields, it was into acres & acres.....not lots.

I have a mulcher mower so my yard stays pretty green on its own.

It may seem all doom and gloom but thankfully it isn't. And it's Friday!
Have a bright, sunshiny day!
Donna

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"Lelandite" wrote:

Any rotary mower can be a mulching mower, simply install mulching blades.... I wouldn't mow any other way... collecting clippings is pure silliness. Mulching blades remain sharper longer too because they are configured to cut progressively at several heights... the cutting edge on a mulching blade is about double the length of the cutting edge on a regular mower blade. They are designed to cut each clipping several times into much shorter lengths, and while mowing distribute the fine clippings back to the lawn evenly, where they totally decompose in less than 48 hours. Collecting clippings, composting them, and attempting to distribute it back evenly is a lot of fruitless labor. Between mulching mowing and critter poop I never need to fertilize.
Mowers fitted with mulching blades:
http://i45.tinypic.com/jpfz3d.jpg
One of my fertilizing crews at work:
http://i50.tinypic.com/15fkj69.jpg
A fertilizing crew taking a union break... they are all legals btw:
http://i46.tinypic.com/28j8sm.jpg
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The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan (Amazon.com product link shortened) 83/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid06815576&sr=1-1
p.45 - 46 Growing corn, which from a biological perspective had always been a process of capturing sunlight to turn it into food, has in no small measure become a process of converting fossil fuels into food. This shift explains the color of the land: The reason Greene County is no longer green for half the year is because the farmer who can buy synthetic fertility no longer needs cover crops to capture a whole year's worth of sunlight he has plugged himself into a new source of energy. When you add together the natural gas in the fertilizer to the fossil fuels it takes to make the pesticides, drive the tractors, and harvest, dry, and transport the corn, you find that every bushel of industrial corn requires the equivalent of between a quarter and a third of a gallon of oil to grow itor around fifty gallons of oil per acre of corn. (Some estimates are much higher.)
Put another way, it takes **more than a calorie of fossil fuel energy to produce a calorie of food; before the advent of chemical fertilizer the Naylor farm produced more than two calories of food energy for every calorie of energy invested**.

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- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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Then the acres & acres split into lots then homes.

Cool, then you but fertilizer for the garden instead? Are you truly a self sufficient gardener?

Thanks, but I could also use the rain :)
--
Enjoy Life... Dan

Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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wrote:

and the people screamed! it was their land and they can do whatever they wanted to. There's no money into farming these days but when a developer comes around and flashes all those dollar signs, well, we either buy the farm land or shut up. Here in WA we have bought a lot of farm land and are still buying. Some farmers are recognizing their importance to the USA and have set their lands into conservative status. Means lower taxes to them and they get to keep the farm.

some of my mower waste goes into the garden. But most of it stays on the ground. I do buy yard fertilizer but it's suppose to be the good kind.
Self sufficient? For many many years, to many then I want to count, yes, I was a true self-sufficient gardener and raised cattle. I'm old now and depend on others. But then you here about the bad stuff even in cans. I don't have enough land to raise enough food for myself. Government policies are a must when it comes to food. But, alas, most of the time they don't know or look the other way.

ditto here and we finally got it in downpours and hail and then sunshine and then more downpours. It's still raining out. Rhubard is loving it as are my raspberries and boysenberries.
Enjoy the weekend.
Donna in wet ole WA

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Lelandite wrote:

All the water that you drink has been recycled many many times whether it has been through a plant designated for the purpose or not. You are showing a reaction to the yuk factor which is not rational.
All my drinking water comes from my roof. Some people say 'eeew don't birds shit on your roof'. I tell them they sure do and you are drinking it right now. Highly sophisticated water supply systems in rich countries have 'do not drink' scares from time to time.
I also lived in a small town that did not use "recycled" water but took it from the river, all natural as nature intended. When the area went into drought the river would get lower and lower and the water plant would add more and more chlorine to counteract the ever growing bacterial count from dead animals, their faeces, sediments that had been stirred up etc.
The path that the water takes to get to your tap is not the only factor that determines if it is safe, all the possible pathways may get contaminated. EPA testing is one way to know what the quality of your water is. But it cannot counteract the yuk factor.
David
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A few people in the suburbs that are sick of the high cost of their water bills, they are installing their own roof water collecting into cisterns. They run the water though their own purification system and have plenty of water that meets their entire water needs at a 10 tenth the cost of city water. Many say the system pays for itself in less than three years.
I have a well system. Someday I may put in a cistern for the garden.
--
Enjoy Life... Dan

Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.
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Ohioguy wrote:

I am curious as to what part of the country you live in, and wondering if it may be a "local" shortage there. I live in SW lower Michigan, and every home center, garden center and supermarket around here has all the 40 lb. bags of cow manure in stock you could want - and ironically, at a lower price than I've seen it in the past! But that's not helping you so I'd say the following:
1) Keep looking! It may turn up somewhere.
2) The "humus" is likely Scott's bagged "Humus and Manure" - also relatively inexpensive, and the closest thing to bagged composted cow manure I've seen. IMO, it's you're next best bet.
3) Unlike the previous respondent "Bob", I do not recommend the use of dog or cat manure in your garden. I have read for years - and just again recently - that they are the two types of domestic manure not recommended for any garden use, though I admit I can't point you to any specific articles on that topic off the top of my head.
I sympathize - composted cow manure is a favorite of mine, too. Good luck in the search, though.
Tony
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Not to worry Amazon will sell you 40 Lb of shit for $4 shipping is about $12 extra.
Its a stranger world after all springs to mind.
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
What use one more wake up call?
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I'm in SW Ohio. As I said, 10 years ago, all the big stores and hardware stores had bags of composted cow manure this time of year. Right now, I only found one small garden center that carried it, but had sold out, and Meijer, where I ended up getting bags for $1.19 each.
All the other places only had bags of topsoil, humus, "humus with composted cow manure" (but didn't tell how much of each), and mulch.
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Ohioguy wrote:

Maybe that's what it was all along and they got in trouble for mislabeling it.
Bib
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wrote:

Why the need for cow manure? I gave you a comparative list of manures so that you could adjust your application.
Conversion factors
Manure Chicken Diary cow Horse Steer Rabbit Sheep N 1.1 .257 .70 .70 2.4 .70 P .80 .15 .30 .30 1.4 .30 K .50 .25 .60 .40 .60 .90 Http://www.plantea.com/manuer.htm
Manure Alfalfa Fish Emulsion N 3 5 P 1 1 K 2 1
Ex. Say you want to add 20 lbs of cow manure to a 100 sq. ft. bed but all you have is chicken manure.
N for cow manure is .257 and 1.1 for chicken manure.
(1.1N) X (?lbs chicken) = (.257N) X (20 lbs cow) ? lbs chicken = [(.257N)/(1.1N)](20 lbs cow) ? lbs chicken = 4.7 lbs 4.7 lbs chicken = 20 lbs cow
Plus you would get a little extra phosphorus (good for flowering and roots). You may want to add a pound or two of wood ash though. It would also be good to add 15 lbs of organic material (or compost) of your choice.
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