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Manure, compost...when does one become the other?

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Manure, compost...when does one become the other?

Post  claudiamedic on Thu 17 May 2012, 4:50 pm

The 4-H leader I'm working with has livestock and seems to use the words "manure" and "compost" interchangeably. When is manure "composted"? When is it OK to eat tubers/root crops from a garden enriched with (unknown age) manure?
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Re: Manure, compost...when does one become the other?

Post  happycamper on Thu 17 May 2012, 9:23 pm

I follow the USDA guidelines and adhere to the 120 days. Most manure will fully compost in 6-12 months on its own or 4-6 months if you turn your pile regularly. I compost fresh chicken manure and bedding and it usually takes 6 months.

Manure (fresh) and composted manure (aged) are two different things. USDA does have guidelines on their site stating when it is safe to apply manure to above ground crops (90 days prior to harvest) and root crops (120 days prior to harvest).
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Re: Manure, compost...when does one become the other?

Post  claudiamedic on Fri 18 May 2012, 8:15 pm

So lettuce, radishes, kale, swiss chard and beets all are to trash/compost when they come up...?? What about vertical crops? Since they grow into the air are they OK to eat? What about herbs?

I am pretty discouraged since I couldn't find any compost at all that wasn't mostly peat. I mixed the best I could with what I had (using some donated--straight from the farm -- and some bagged cow manure). So far my seedlings are looking wonderful.....dang it.

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Re: Manure, compost...when does one become the other?

Post  plantoid on Fri 18 May 2012, 8:42 pm

Claudia, most veg are safe to eat if you soak them in a standard baby bottle sterilizer solution at the reccommended sterilization times shown on the bottle then rinse them off and shake off excess water.



It's funny we all know what comes out the back end of cows , horses pigs sheep , & ducks chickens etc etc but most are afraid to say it so they use a word they think that might describe it.

In my school days during rural science lessons I was always taught that manure is animal dung usually mixed with old bedding that has been left to rot down in the open without the benefit of much aerobic action . Nutrients tended to drain out of the decaying matter over time due to gravity till a fairly low level was retained in the almost dried out decayed matter

Compost on the other hand was said to be a mix of animal dung & other undigested vegetable material made by aerobic action , most nutrients would stay in the decayed materials whilst the water evaporated due to the heat generated by intense aerobic bacterial action .

A few days ago I read what several reasonably authoritive scripts .

It now seems that both words are interchangeable which is a pity for they are two entirely different end products.
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Re: Manure, compost...when does one become the other?

Post  Lindacol on Fri 18 May 2012, 10:22 pm

@claudiamedic wrote:So lettuce, radishes, kale, swiss chard and beets all are to trash/compost when they come up...?? What about vertical crops? Since they grow into the air are they OK to eat? What about herbs?

I am pretty discouraged since I couldn't find any compost at all that wasn't mostly peat. I mixed the best I could with what I had (using some donated--straight from the farm -- and some bagged cow manure). So far my seedlings are looking wonderful.....dang it.

Sad

Lettuce, kale & chard are fine to use as long as you are harvesting them at least 90 days from when the manure was produced by the animal. Root crops are fine after 120 days.
When you picked the manure up from the farm, did you ask if it was fresh or aged? If aged, about how long?
Most likely all will be fine, just wash before eating.
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Re: Manure, compost...when does one become the other?

Post  walshevak on Sat 19 May 2012, 6:33 am

I have lived overseas and the source and age of what veggies are grown in is quite variable. Think human. The health dept of the Embassy taught us to soak everything in a mild bleach solution and rinse in boiled or distilled water before eating any local produce. Then peel and/or cook most things. I just got into the habit of bringing home veggies and rinsing them off, then filling the sink with water and 2 caps full of clorox and just letting everthing soak for at least 10 min before packaging and storing in the fridge. I never got sick from anything prepared at home or at a fellow workers home, but I never ate salads in some countries outside the home.

Kay

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Re: Manure, compost...when does one become the other?

Post  claudiamedic on Sat 19 May 2012, 1:01 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions! I am so thrilled that I don't have to trash everything! Live and learn..and learn...and learn...and learn. When you're done learning, you're dead. I love you
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Re: Manure, compost...when does one become the other?

Post  Goosegirl on Sat 19 May 2012, 4:06 pm

@claudiamedic wrote: When you're done learning, you're dead. I love you

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