Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Easily Convert Manure To Fertilizer

News alert:  You may be sitting on a pot of gold, that is.  If you have a horse or two, or three, you probably think you have a manure disposal problem.  But what you actually have is a fertilizer bonanza.

Using Earthworms To Quickly Make Fertilizer

Everybody probably knows about compost piles and manure piles.  Pile it all up, and wait. And wait. Composting takes time and who's got the patience?

Those fields need fertilizing. Now.  Whether you  use it for grazing or hay cutting,  that grass is not going to grow all by itself.  Commercial fertilizers are expensive, especially if it's organic.  I mean really expensive.

Meanwhile, you're spending a fortune feeding your horses expensive grains and legumes.  And it's all going out the other end.  The good news is, this expensive feeding-to-supplement-grazing produces some awfully rich manure.  Trouble is, in order to benefit your grass, it needs to be broken down by microbes and other poop eaters.

Among the most prolific poop eaters are earthworms  In fact, if you simply pile up your manure, some very opportunistic earthworms will just show up.  Hence their name, "manure worms"  These are wild worms, not in any behavioral sort of way, but "occurring in the wild" earthworms that convert steaming piles of poop into beautiful, rich "castings".  "Castings?" you ask.  That's another word for worm poop.

So, what, I've got another pile of poop?  Well no, not exactly.  Worm poop or worm castings are much more readily available for your grass's roots to uptake than fresh horse poop.

Horses are notoriously bad at digesting all the roughage they consume.  If you examine it closely, and I know you have, horse manure contains an awful lot of hay and bits of grain that just got wasted by your horse.  (Another reason horses are so costly. Sigh..)

Not to worry.  You can recoup some of your investment by vermi-composting all that lovely, "steaming pile of poop" and fertilize your pastures with it.

You can either wait for those wild worms to show up (they're usually very late).  Or, you can add your own worms to the manure pile.  The best worms for the job are red worms (redworms, red wigglers, etc.)  and European night crawlers.  

There's another angle to this endeavor in the money department.  These worms you just added to your manure pile?  They are going to reproduce. Bigly (having a wild side themselves).  They are going to reproduce so well, in fact, you'll soon have a worm problem.

Maybe "problem" is a misnomer.  Because, pound for pound, worms are one of the most profitable farm animals being raised on purpose for selling.  Sold as fishing worms, pet food (got chickens?) and, you guessed it, other people with a horse manure problem.  You now have an added bonus from creating your own pasture fertilizer: a cash cow... er... cash worm.

Follow me as I set up this cash worm, fertilizer generator, a.k.a. "worm farm", with neighbors next door.  They have boo-koo horses and a resulting horse manure problem, as well as depleted pastures due to over grazing and our well-know poor, sandy soil.

So, grab your shovel!

Worm Farm Guide

How to grow earthworms as a home based business
Looking to convert your horse farm's growing manure piles into pasture fertilizer and generate extra cash? I share my specialized knowledge on successful worm farming and vermi-composting for beginners in an easy to understand manual.  Included:
  • how to set up your  worm beds,
  • what kind of worms beds to use, 
  • worm bedding mixes, and 
  • worm food choices
  • harvesting and selling worms.
Whether your trying to grow worms for your own use or want to grow enough to sell commercially, this manual gives you the information I wish I'd had when I first started.

You'll find more worm feeding tips and how-to's, as well as all aspects of worm farming, in my "Worm Farm Manual".  Available in both download and hard-copy versions.

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