Manure Meandering – Read This Before You Plant Your Veggies

Manure can be a great base for compost. The leavings of cows, horses, and other grass-munching herbivores are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are all necessary ingredients for cooking up healthy soil. Manure is readily available, too – a single cow produces between 40 and 120 pounds a day. Talk about a renewable resource! But is compost made from manure safe to grow your food in? The Germ Problem The problem with manure is that some of the things that live in it can make you sick. It’s rich in bacteria, the majority of which are harmless. Some of the bacteria found in manure, however, is dangerous. Common offenders in cow manure include E. coli, Salmonella, and other pathogens that can make you sick. If that bacteria makes it from manure for compost into your system, you’re liable to experience nausea, vomiting, fever, and other symptoms typical of food poisoning. It is the raw manure though that is the biggest concern. According to a study…

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