Of Manure and Other Helpful Hints

It was such a pleasure to sink one's hands into the warm earth, to feel at one's fingertips the possibilities of the new season.”

Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden

Throughout March and April, we’ve been offering a 5-gallon compost pickup service every Saturday morning from 9 to 11. We started offering this for the simple reason several local master gardener groups wouldn’t take no for an answer.  And good thing they didn’t because it’s been such a pleasure to meet so many area gardeners and talk to them about their plans for the season.  As a lifetime gardener myself, I know well that hope springs eternal—especially every Spring!

Throughout these conversations, I’ve heard many, many vegetable gardeners voice their concern about herbicides getting into their gardens via locally sourced manure.  This is discouraging to hear because well-sourced manure can be very beneficial to the soil. 

Now that we better understand the concerns, rest assured Food Loops will do all we can to ensure the ongoing availability of our food-based compost which has always been, and will continue to be, void of any herbicides.  The link below clearly explains the importance of this when it comes to what will help keep herbicides out of your growing spaces.


Lots of great information to read there, but to highlight the primary points:

  • Don’t use a broadleaf weed killer on your lawn if you plan to use the grass clippings as mulch.

  • Avoid fertilizing with animal manure unless you know for certain the animals haven’t eaten from herbicide-treated pastures or crops.

  • Use straw or hay from farms that use only organic methods to control weeds.

  • Apply organic fertilizers specifically meant for vegetable gardens.

  • Apply mulch with other organic materials, like shredded paper, or dried, crushed tree leaves.

Bottom line? If getting great performance and keeping unwanted herbicides out of your garden, we’re the folks to call!