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Letter: A Vote for Manure

To the Editor:

An Appalachian Trail hiker once said, “If you want to sound wise, go to school. If you want to be wise, go to nature.”

This is the first thing that came to mind when I read Professor Gordon Gribble’s letter on Dec. 12 lambasting Henry Homeyer’s column on giving organic manure as a gift. I don’t think Homeyer was talking about planting a garden in Upton Sinclair’s Jungle, nor was he talking about dumping a truckload of cow plops into a 10 x 10 garden. As a gardener of 35 years, I have found that properly incorporating local farm animal waste into the garden is but one of many components that make for good soil sustainability and soil health. This practice has been done beneficially for centuries in New England. I add manure to my compost piles, which then “work” for three years before use. Larger homesteads may till it directly into the soil well before planting (usually after the autumn harvest) or spread it over hayfields after the final cut.

Gribble certainly has the right to choose the “safer and cheaper” non-organic, modern, conventional, synthetically fertilized produce — of which the majority is monocultured, pesticide-laded GMOs toted over the country with our cheap and plentiful fuel supply. But for many of us, we choose health.

Sandi Pierson

Orange

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Letter: No Gifts of Manure for Me, Thank You

Thursday, December 13, 2012

To the Editor: Henry Homeyer’s “gift” of organic fertilizer (“Manure for Christmas?” Dec. 5) can have dangerous consequences. Patrons of organic food grown with manure that is not properly sanitized to kill toxic bacteria need to know that serious illness or death can result. Recall the recent outbreaks of human sickness and death in California, Colorado, New York, Europe and …