Well, here I'm just suggesting something. I think that prions aren't
normally passed in the manure, but, perhaps some sheep farmer with scrapie
mortalities has disposed of a few of them out in the manure pile? You know
how people are...
Also to be considered is the fact that feedlot manure from cattle will be
carrying a load of acid-resistant E. coli. Now after proper composting they
should be wiped out; and cattle fed a normal diet of grass and hay won't
carry that load the way grain fed cattle will.
Human manure and its products (sludge, biosolids, compost) are obviously
most critical since the species barrier does not exist; we da humans! In a
market garden producing vegetables this material may have no place at all,
as Cass Peterson suggests.
On a more diversified farm clean composted human manure materials probably
should still be applied only at certain points in the crop rotation.
>I think it's quite odd (and again, sorry if someone's made this
>observation) that organic farmers are being urged to legitimize sludge
>when even conventional farmers don't want to touch it. Sounds
>back-asswards to me. :-\
I think most organic people feel intuitively that human wastes should be
returned to the soil. Victor Hugo's famous essay, "The Sewer is a Mistake"
from Les Miserables (see http://www.compostingtoilet.com/Vichugo.htm ), or
reading F.H. King's Farmer's of Forty Centuries, underscore this point.
Yet a mixmastered stream of humanwastes/household chemicals/industrial
wastes has little appeal for most organic folks....
Eliot Coleman, in The New Organic Grower, offers two ideas for the vegetable
grower seeking control of his/her organic matter source: 1) board horses, so
you can be sure to provide straw bedding and also be sure of what, if any,
meds the horses are on; 2) make compost from hay harvested on farm. He
suggested you'd need three units of og matter producing land for every unit
in vegetable production.
Thinking about this, I had the idea that a hayfield-for-composting might be
the ideal place to apply clean-stream sludge or the products of yer
composting toilet. Applied after the first cut, the material would be
placed at the greatest biological distance from consumables, since under
Coleman's system composting occurs for one and a half to two years.
Other uses for humanures include orchards, forestry and horticultural
production. Gotta use it somewhere! (Some places they feed it straight to
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