Monday, August 2, 2010

What To Do With The Manure Pile

A while back my farrier mentioned that if I don't have any use for my manure, I could advertise it on Craig's List and someone would come and get it and make use of it. For years, I did use horse manure to fertilize our lawns and pasture and to build up the ground in places where water pooled. However, lately it seems the horses have been pooping machines and my pile gets too high too fast. I tire of always having to move the manure to make room for more. We don't own a tractor or anything other than shovels and wheelbarrows, so we do everything by hand.

That means giving up riding time to spread the manure.

So, I went ahead and advertised my manure for free on Craig's List, but got no responses. I figured the problem was the time of year. Most people want manure in the spring and fall, not the summer. However, I didn't give up. I advertised it again and got one response.

I was curious as to why a local would want the manure, because it seems impossible to grow anything around here. The man who claimed it turned out to be an expert on soil and agriculture, so he could grow a garden anywhere, which is what he was doing. He was collecting manure for next year's vegetable garden. He was sweet enough to bring me a food gift he made from his garden in exchange for the manure, and then informed me that my pile was very high quality and could sell for about $1,000.

I really wasn't interested in going into business packaging up my manure and shipping it off to people who order it on Ebay, but happy to let him take as much as he needed. He said the horse boarding business where he used to collect his manure had gone out of business, so he might become a regular customer of mine. It would be so nice to have someone come by every once in while and take my manure away. One person's trash is another one's treasure.

He did find shoveling in this heat to be difficult, so he said he'd pay my son to help him next time. That's the downside of the deal for him. His previous supplier had the machinery needed to fill his truck in two scoops. I know how he feels. I won't do business with hay farmers unless they deliver and do all the physical labor. I'm not willing to throw my back out and ruin my riding season. I also don't want to see someone else keel over from a heart attack or heat exhaustion while collecting my manure, so I guess I'll have to get out there and help after all. I was originally trying to save myself both time and space, but I'll settle for just saving some space instead.


juliette said...

What an interesting post! I also have a huge manure pile and I never thought of Craigslist! I used to use the manure on my own garden, but now the horses themselves take so much of my time that my own garden is sadly forgotten. Thanks for the wonderful idea.

Katharine Swan said...

Maybe your nosy neighbors will help shovel manure. It would, after all, give them a chance to spy on you at closer range. >;-D

No, I know they wouldn't. But it would be funny if you asked them to next time you caught them spying!

fernvalley01 said...

Good that you found someone to take it .We used to have so many people coming to the home farm for manure , and no one had time to deal with them , plus they spread manure on the fields. My uncle finally put up a sign that read NO SH*T

Anonymous said...

Our neighbor is a big time farmer and cleans our paddocks, hauls away the pile (mountain, more like), and does all the little bobcat and backhoe jobs that we need done in exchange for the manure. It takes him about a week with a bobcat, two tractors, two spreaders, a dump truck, and 2 or 3 helpers. We have a lot of poop! It's an absolutely heavenly arrangement in my book.

lytha said...

you do everything by shovel too? me too! i thought i was the only one!

years ago the seattle zoo introduced a special product for gardeners. for a very high price, you could buy a gallon of manure tea made from WILDLIFE! i was ROTFL: )

i wonder about medications in our horses' manure - the local gardeners here won't take my poo cuz my horse has so many meds in him. but not lately, so i'm starting to get my organic label back (heheh).

and lucky you, craigslist! it is not really catching on in germany. and i really need it to! did you know i found my cats on ebay? that's cuz there's no working craigslist.


Crystal said...

Ive never thought about what to do with manure, we just spread it on our farm fields with the cow poop and its all good. That sounds like it would be handy to have him come regularily to pick it up, even if you have to help shovel at least it would be gone.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I scoop up Apache's manure and spread it along the fenceline and within a week or two, between the sun and lack of humidity it's all broken down back into grass and earth.
I have been wanting to build a garden for so long that I really should use some of our old manure.

Last summer I offered manure on CL and had three groups of people show up to scoop up llama and goat manure, and old chicken manure. They were so excited and couldn't stop thanking me. lol!
I was, like you, just grateful that someone's was helping me remove poop off of my property. lol!


Jeni said...

At the barn I board at they have a huge dumpster they put it in and the trash people come and get it! They use it for compost.