Transition Whatcom

Growing your own source of organic matter to improve the tilth of your soil, or to make compost, is the best way to care for the earth and ensure the safety of what is added to the land you care for.

 

 If you are adding Compost or Organic Matter to your soil from off-site locations or purchasing

– Be-Aware and know your sources or better yet, grow, harvest, incorporate your own organic matter!

  

 SKAGIT COUNTY SOURCES:

* Skagit Soils Inc. (360) 424-0199  http://www.skagitsoilsinc.com/5073.html

Compost in Skagit reported to be regularly tested for aminopyralid (which is very responsible) offered by the Zeilstra family:

 13260 Ball Road (or google map 14104 Ovenell Rd) Mount Vernon, WA 98273

They are located just east of the Skagit County Garbage Transfer Station off Ovenell Rd.

 (address doesn't show up correctly on Mapquest or Google Maps because it is a private road.)    Use 14104 Ovenell Rd. 98273 to get driving directions.

Hours - Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 5:00 pm,

Please share your experience if anyone obtains compost from them.

 

BULK POTTING SOIL SOURCES:

Intrepid Coco-Coir Premium Potting Soil http://www.coco-coir.com/ is very popular for potting up those special plants & tomatoes in pots! Available by the truck for wholesale pick-up in Ferndale area, or by the bag at local retail location. Contains coconut & conifer, organic fertilizers, and even soil micro-organisms....The price may seem high but when you use it you see why......I'm not sure how much longer it will be economical for them to import the coconut material.  The stuff is amazing to get your hands into!  Business name is 'Center for Holistic Advanced Organic Studies' & 'Intrepid' products (this is local Scott Titus business).
? 384-5348

 

LOCAL WHATCOM SOURCES THAT MAY NEED TESTING BEFORE USE:

 

* Mushroom compost from a local rural companies also available for pick up or deliver for a Fee-cost...Google or phone them for details. (In the past I have found the mushroom compost too salty for my edible gardens.) HK

Cascadia Mushrooms: http://www.cascadiamushrooms.com/

(this is Alex's business who trained with Paul Stamens) .

Also, consider Twin Sisters Mushroom Farm.

 

* GrowSource Inc 318-8554     http://www.growsource.com/

 Many different choices Always ask exactly what the plant/animal/fertilizer ingredients are and make your choices carefully. I sometimes use what they have for mulching perennial non-edible beds.

They tend to incorporate chicken manure more than cow manure and may be able to tell you the name of the farm/business they obtain their ingredients from. -HK

 

* Smit Dairy Compost 354-3583 9039 Guide Meridian Rd; Lynden -(Nathan Smit's business). http://www.smitscompost.com/    This is Not an organic dairy farm, so be cautious ...Remember to ask if they are using any animal feed grown with GMO plants. (In the past there were market garden-farmer reports of aminopyralid herbicide present (2010) in their compost, so be sure to ask if they are testing for purity!) (There is the chance they may also import manure from other non-organic chemical based farms which would then get mixed in with their Smit Compost) HK

 

Auburn, WA Dairy Farm for Moo-Doo Compost (Organic): http://www.moo-doo.com/moodoo

  (I'll share a load with anyone driving a truck north to B'ham area).

 

 

Cardboard & Chips - "Free" & You Pick-Up Sources -

 (Remember to check Craigs list and freecycle online also)

Cardboard for Sheet Mulching -

Check with businesses that receive lots of products in large boxes, like appliance stores.   Here is one store recommended by Riley:

 De Warrd & Bode appliance/furniture store- North side 4175 Hannegan Road-Bellingham

 

Wood Chips or hogwood -

* Can sometimes be delivered for free if you have an accessible location for a landscaper or arborist/tree-trimmer to deliver...Be aware that some chips are cedar chips.

 

Misc cut & paste from earlier discussions below:

* "You can get Alpaca poop for free, all you have to do is take a truck to the site and the guy loads it for you". (comment from Alys K)

* "Deward & Bode has big cardboard...lots of newspaper from the heralds recycle bins" (per Jamie)

 

All welcome to add name, location, & phone number

of their favorite compost/mulch sources!  

(Please be respectful in any business evaluations and consider a blog post for some posts).

 

CHEMICAL & HERBICIDE CONCERNS IN ORGANIC MATTER:

Do your research on what organic matter, soils, mulch, compost you bring on to your land!

Solution Discussion:  "Healing Toxic Soils & Waters: Mycoremediation, Compost & Teas, Fungal Bioremediation)"

http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/group/organic/forum/topics/healin...

 

Links below provide more information:

Aminopyralid residue contamination info in commercial & offsite composts, manures, & soil mises from Washingtong State University per Kate Halstead of WSU Snohomish Extension: “Facts on the product, and what to do about it when it shows up in your compost uninvited are available on the Whatcom Extension website-   http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/aminopyralid/

Kate Halstead - Agriculture Workshops    C-360.794.6081 W-425.357.6024

khalstead@wsu.edu www.snohomish.wsu.edu

 

Website from Dow who manufactors aminopyralid herbicide:

http://www.manurematters.com/na/en/gardening.htm

http://www.manurematters.com/na/en/manure_sourcing.htm

http://www.manurematters.com/na/en/equine_health.htm

 

Ideas of how to avoid the chemicals, and what to do if your soil is effected:

http://www.the-compost-gardener.com/picloram.html

(link thanks to Laura R  with Sustainable Connections Farm Program)

 

“A New Problem With Commercial Compost” - blog by Farmer Walter H June 2010

http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/profiles/blogs/a-new-problem-with...

 

"...Herbicide Creates Killer Compost" - article from 2009 in Mother Earth News:

<i>http://www.motherearthnews.com/Grow-It/Milestone-Herbicide-Contamin...</i>

Views: 5310

Replies to This Discussion

I will also add that if anyone wants to do their own tests, this is the way I made my infusion:

Place two large hand fulls of hay to be tested into a large glass bowl or jar. (or other material to be tested). Boil some water and pour over the hay. Stir it and get it under the water. Let it infuse for 8 or so hours. Strain. Use this to water your test seeds/starts. I kept mine in a jar in the fridge other wise it will ferment. Maybe that isn't a problem, I'm just trying to keep the variables to a minimum.
Make sure to use soil that isn't suspect for herbicide. Keep everything else the same, same seeds, same size pots, same location etc...Peas grow fast.

Angela

Angela MacLeod said:
If anyone is interested I found a source of herbicide-free horse manure.....Ell Worthington 927-0045.

I have continued to search for hay and composted manure that hasn't been tainted with the herbicide. I found a source of Timothy hay and orchard grass from a local horse person. He said that it had not be sprayed but I didn't feel confident so I am growing a test. I made a concentrated water infusion of the hay to use to water the pea seeds. I got 'clean' potting soil and set up 6 pots. 3 for control using only filtered water. and 3 using the hay water. All the conditions except for the water are the same. So far the sprouts look the same in all the pots. This Timothy hay is for my rabbits to eat, and their manure will be for the garden.

I found a source of 3 month old horse manure from a person who claimed to be sure that there was no herbicide used on their horse feed. Making a personal connection has been enriching. I would prefer cow manure but the dairy farmers I've tried to contact all are extremely busy. It takes time to build connections. have also started keeping rabbits We also have started keeping chickens but that will take time also to generate manure for the garden. I'm new at gardening and there is a lot to learn. We just bought a house on a half acre and the previous owners used some local compost that probably had some of the herbicide as I am seeing some evidence in the plants this season. But it is difficult to know when there could also be other reasons for the mangled growth.

I'm still concerned for the local organic farmers and their livelihood being adversely impacted by this herbicide. I'm surprised that there is so little in the news about it.
Angela
Update on the hay test:

My test pots of peas have all grown and the seedlings using the hay-infused water look normal with no symptoms of the herbicide. They look the same as the seedlings grown with plain water.

The source for that hay is Joe at 398-1419. He had an add on craigs list a few months ago. I do not know if he still has any for sale. He called it Timothy hay with some orchard grass. I have seen red clover (a broadleaf weed) mixed in with the hay so that further confrims a lack of the aminopyrlid herbicide.

I called Smits yesterday to see if they had any news on their composted manure. They said they could not confirm no broadleaf herbicide in their composted manure yet. But they hope to have some soon. They continue to do their own grow tests using the manure they carry and are still seeing signs of the herbicide. They may have 'clean' manure in a month.

I also called Grow Source and asked if they have any herbicide free composted manure, or soil mix. They said that they believe that their products do not have any traces of the herbicide but they could not guarentee it. The guy said that he personally has been using their product with no sign of the herbicide and that none of his customers have told him that they have had problems. But he acknowledged that it would be hard to know for sure without lab tests.

I know two people who have bought soil mix from Grow Source and have had problems with their Vegetable gardens....these are both experienced gardeners who have read about the actual symptoms of the herbicide and are not just blaming any growth problem on the product from Grow Source....still they didn't get lab tests done.

Angela MacLeod said:
If anyone is interested I found a source of herbicide-free horse manure.....Ell Worthington 927-0045.

I have continued to search for hay and composted manure that hasn't been tainted with the herbicide. I found a source of Timothy hay and orchard grass from a local horse person. He said that it had not be sprayed but I didn't feel confident so I am growing a test. I made a concentrated water infusion of the hay to use to water the pea seeds. I got 'clean' potting soil and set up 6 pots. 3 for control using only filtered water. and 3 using the hay water. All the conditions except for the water are the same. So far the sprouts look the same in all the pots. This Timothy hay is for my rabbits to eat, and their manure will be for the garden.

I found a source of 3 month old horse manure from a person who claimed to be sure that there was no herbicide used on their horse feed. Making a personal connection has been enriching. I would prefer cow manure but the dairy farmers I've tried to contact all are extremely busy. It takes time to build connections. have also started keeping rabbits We also have started keeping chickens but that will take time also to generate manure for the garden. I'm new at gardening and there is a lot to learn. We just bought a house on a half acre and the previous owners used some local compost that probably had some of the herbicide as I am seeing some evidence in the plants this season. But it is difficult to know when there could also be other reasons for the mangled growth.

I'm still concerned for the local organic farmers and their livelihood being adversely impacted by this herbicide. I'm surprised that there is so little in the news about it.
Angela

Gwerder family of Hy-Grass Farms in Auburn, WA offer Moo-Doo, a mulch/compost product http://www.moo-doo.com/moodoo  They sterlize their mix of cow manure & sawdust.  I met a couple of these dairy farmers in February at the Seattle Flower Garden Show, and they said they used organic methods on their farm, and used no GMO Seeds.  They sell buy the bag or truckload.  If you know anyone traveling north with a truck, I'd welcome the chance to share a full or half load....

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