Your Own Organic Cow Manure

How far does your food travel before it ends up on the dinner table? With concerns over contamination, drought, food prices, and environmental impact all rising at once, millions of people are turning to their own backyards to reconnect with the ancient tradition of feeding themselves rather than relying on the supermarket.

“The shorter the chain between raw food and fork, the fresher it is and the more transparent the system is.” – Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms

While a tidy vegetable garden seems like nothing more than some turned over dirt, that soil requires constant input of fresh nutrients to keep your plants growing and producing. What good is it to grow food at home if you’re still bringing in fertilizer shipped from across the globe after damaging strip-mining?

cow_manure_fieldsOur cow fertilizer and urine application system is fully automated.

Making Manure at Home

Even if you’re brand new to growing your own food, you likely know that aged cow manure is the pinnacle of natural and organic fertilizers. Investing in expensive bagged manure easily makes backyard food more costly than shopping at Whole Foods. You might think having a small lot or living in the suburbs disqualifies you from creating your own homemade fertilizers, but an acre or two can easily support a Jersey cow when you bring in plenty of good hay–and that one cow could create several dozen pounds of grade A fertilizer for you per day! Can you say ‘Manure Share’? All the urine-soaked bedding and dropped hay also makes the ideal amendment to the garden to enrich and loosen the soil. We have heard of gardeners adding raw milk to their gardens. Raw milk is supposed to help by boosting fungi that support plant health and providing calcium.

“Artificial manures (synthetic fertilizers) lead inevitably to artificial nutrition, artificial food, artificial animals and finally to artificial men and women.” – Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma

 

Your Certified Organic Manure Machine

By visiting a dairy operation with Jersey cows, you’ll find the idea of a backyard cow a lot less intimidating. We want to help backyard gardeners and homesteaders “close the loop” of caring for their land by giving them a sustainable source for nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Of course, the manure produced by your home fertilizer machine is also packed with plenty of other nutrients your plants need like magnesium and sulfur. By having your own organic-raised cow, there’s no need to worry about accidentally introducing hormones, antibiotics, and other unwanted additives into the garden, which is a major concern with the manure produced by traditional feed lots.

organic_jersey_cows_grazing1Electric fences and intensive grazing methods help to insure that manure deposits are randomly spread across the fields.

Not just any cow will do for backyard farming. We suggest you stick with a Jersey cow for a friendly addition to the family, and start off right with help from a farm dedicated to grass feeding and beyond organic principles. As Michael Pollan writes in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “Artificial manures (synthetic fertilizers) lead inevitably to artificial nutrition, artificial food, artificial animals and finally to artificial men and women.”

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Farmer Guy May 26, 2014 Organic Farming