Sunday, August 2, 2009

Going Green

I've always tried to do my part to conserve and recycle, especially since doing things like not turning on the A/C and installing energy-efficient light bulbs saves money. Recently I picked up this bag to use at the grocery store, and everytime I use it they knock five cents off my bill.

I chuckle to myself everytime I read it. That's exactly the reason why I don't date anymore. Ha!

Anywho, I've always had the desire to have a self-sustainable (or nearly so) farm. Why can't I enjoy the luxury of horse ownership AND be environmentally responsible as well?

I may have to give up some luxuries, like my diet soda, but I have been recycling the cans....

Honestly, the plastics pickup was in town last weekend--it's really not as bad as it looks :)

Today I read an article in one of my old issues of Equus (which I should recycle as well, and will when I feel they aren't of value anymore). In the August 2008 issue they outline ways to make your horse place more "green."

I wanted to plant a vegetable garden this year but just wasn't able to with all the other work that I needed to do on the barn and fencing to get settled in. I do think it will be a real possiblity for next year, though, and I'm already looking forward to it. However, I live on a giant rock, covered in clay--hardly the ideal place for a vegetable garden. I got to thinking, though (scary I know)....

I have horses, who often live in stalls. Everyday, I take at least half a wheel-barrow of manure out when I clean those stalls, usually once, sometimes twice a day. That leaves me with a nice pile back behind the shed that I intend to soon spread over the pasture, right?

According to the article in Equus, "Manure is a good fertilizer, but raw feces may harbor parasite eggs and pathogens, so it's best not to spread it on fields that horses are grazing. We promote composting as an excellent manure-management alternative. The breakdown of organic waste by microoganisms in a controlled environment, composting creates a nutrient-rich humus that bears no resemblance to its original ingredients."

The article states that among the advantages of composting is that the heat kills off any parasites or pathogens, fly populations decline due to the heat killing their eggs and minimizing breeding ground, and improves soil conditions.

Unfortunately what the article doesn't do is outline HOW to compost manure, so over the next few weeks I will be researching the best way to accomplish this and hopefully documenting it, if all goes well (meaning if no fires happen to need to be put out and I can actually get to this)!
So stay tuned...more on manure coming your way!! (Oh, that doesn't sound too appetizing, does it?)

In the meantime, take a look at this blog: You'll never look at garbage the same way again.

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