Shovel of Compost

Horse Manure for Compost Pile: An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

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Shovel of Compost

I got an unexpected call yesterday from a lady that I have known for a few years now. We affectionately call her The Mango Lady because she lives on an enormous property that is chock full of mango trees. Every summer we pass by her street waiting for the day that her sign appears on the street corner.  When we see that sign we respond just like one of Pavlov’s dogs, with drool. The sign lets us know that the glorious run of summer mango has begun, and at The Mango Lady’s house it is the most delicious crop of mangos that I have ever tasted. Every three or four days in the summer I would crunch down her long gravel driveway full of excitement for the next batch of delicious fruit. But there is more to The Mango Lady than just mangos, she also trains dogs and keeps horses and is just about one of the most interesting people I have ever met, my runs to her house are in equal parts for the fruit and for the neat stories.

Mango season has been effectively over for weeks, so I was surprised when she called me to see if I wanted in on a batch of late season mangos that had to be picked en masse because of a hurricane that was threatening us. Of course I jumped at the chance for some good backyard mangos and for the opportunity to visit for a few minutes. While I loaded my bags with fruit we chatted about this and that and I told her about my grand plans for the organic veggie garden this year. Right away she offered me some horse poop for my compost pile.

My first reaction was to politely decline the generous but kind of icky offer of poop, but I know from my more experienced gardening friends that horse manure is an excellent addition to the compost pile. It is basically compost that is halfway finished because the horse’s chewing and digesting give the grass and hay a jump start in the decomposition process. Re-using this “waste material” as fertilizer in my garden rather than buying cow based compost at the local garden center also fits in nicely with my efforts to live more sustainably. With all of this in mind, I accepted the offer and will be picking up my first load of manure tomorrow.

I have some concerns of course, I hope that the manure doesn’t spill in my car on the way home or that the compost pile doesn’t get stinky and start to offend my neighbors, but it is a risk I am willing to take because this was truly an offer I couldn’t refuse!

How about you? Does anyone use horse manure in their compost pile?  I would love any feedback you might have on the topic.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent, Jennifer. I have a friend from high school who stables horses at her ranch in the San Joaquin Valley. I will ask her about this possibility.

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