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Liquid and solid waste from the pigs at the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus is collected for the compost manure.

Gardeners Rejoice!
The University of Minnesotas Compost Manure - The Good Stuff - Is Available Near You
Its hard to believe that manure could generate so much excitement, but this isnt just any ordinary manure. The good stuff is compost manure generated by the University of Minnesota. This compost manure is a combination of liquid waste and manure from horses, cows, sheep, poultry, and pigs housed at the Universitys St. Paul campus. The animals are in facilities that use pine shavings for bedding which is an ingredient of the compost manure as well as some straw and hay from the animal feed. What makes this manure different from other manure and so special to gardeners is that the seed count is so low. This is important because it is the seeds that cause weeds in gardens. Approximately

two thirds of the manure is generated from cows and the other third from the other animals. A high percentage of cow manure is desirable because cows have four compartments in their stomach. By the time their food is processed into manure most of the seeds are digested and the heat from the compost eliminates the rest. Sound disgusting? Many of the best gardeners and landscapers in the Twin

The compost manure has been used by the Como Golf Course for years.

Cities dont think so. The University of Minnesotas compost manure is found at the Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park, and at many golf clubs, including the Wayzata Country Club. This product has been generated at the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota for almost 100 years and was formerly called farmpost. On week-ends people were lined up to get this stuff. One person even brought their own back-hoe to scoop it up and load it on their truck, remembers a University employee. This all came to an abrupt halt in 2000 when a fire burned a building on campus and it was determined that the fire was deliberately set. During the early morning hours of January 29, 2000 an environmental group called the Earth Liberation Front set fire to a construction trailer, several research labs in an adjoining building, and several pieces of

The horse stalls at the Minnesota State Fair grounds use the pine shavings used in the compost manure

construction equipment. The Cargill Genomics Building was under construction and was the target of the terrorist group who claimed to be protesting experiments on genetically engineered oats. Estimates at the time determined losses could reach $1 million. After the fire, the compost manure was no longer available to the general public and speculation was that the University wanted to more

closely monitor access to the campus. This year the manure is for sale at several landscape and garden centers in the Twin Cities. Gardeners can ask for the University of Minnesota compost manure at Baldwin Lake Perennials, Inc. in Lino Lakes, Hermes Floral and Greenhouses in St. Paul, Kern Lawn Service in St. Paul, Tree House Inc. in Hastings, Rock Gardens

Landscape & Nursery Supplies in Lino Lakes, and Hassan Sand & Gravel in Rogers, and Minnesota Mulch & Soil in Shoreview, who will deliver orders of ten yards or more. The good stuff got its name because thats how people refer to it when they call Minnesota Mulch & Soil to find out whos carrying it. According to Marty Long, president, the quality of the compost manure is better this year than ever before because of the control over the aging process and the quality of ingredients, especially the large percentage of cow manure. Long explains that there are several uses for the compost manure: As an addition to a home compost pile As a spring and fall fertilizer As a weed barrier after the first hard freeze in the fall when used with dried leaves

As insulation for plants in the winter Ron Dufault with Hermes Floral and Greenhouses said that he heard that the compost manure was going to be available for retailers to sell and he jumped all over it. Im from the St. Anthony Park neighborhood and its close to the Universitys St. Paul campus and so over the years word spread about how great this product is. I told my garden club that we were going to be selling it and they were really excited that its coming back to the neighborhood. Dufault went on to say that the compost

manure is really a superior product compared to cocoa bean mulch because while it has the same dark color it wont mildew or wash away. Steve Dinger, the golf course superintendant at the Como Golf Course in St. Paul, is also a fan. Weve been getting the compost manure from the U for years, from back when we could go to the campus and load it up ourselves. It keeps the weeds down and it feeds the plants. I dont need to fertilize. Its good quality stuff. Weve basically never used anything else.

Marty Long, President of Minnesota Mulch & Soil, on top of the compost manure pile at the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus

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