Saturday, December 31, 2011

Toxic Compost? How to tell

Don and I want to pick up some well-aged horse manure to use in our asparagus beds, but I've been unnerved by reports of toxic compost from horse and cattle manure caused by an herbicide called aminopyralid.

Here  is a report on how gardeners can use pea seeds as a simple test to check their composts for toxicity before incorporating them in their gardens. A little checking and planning ahead of time can avoid a garden that could be toxic to plants for two or three years.

Mother Earth News also has an informative article on this topic. Unfortunately, these herbicides are becoming so pervasive, it is getting increasingly difficult, perhaps even impossible, to avoid them.

Update: Don and I later started a group, 4 Chesapeake Hens, that successfully lobbied City Council to allow up to six hens on all single-family lots with certain restrictions.

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