[Market-farming] Buying Manure

Allan Balliett igg at igg.com
Wed Jul 7 06:05:20 EDT 2004

Friends  -

Here's a moral quandary I'd appreciate a peer group opinion on.

For the past year, off and on (but by arrangement), I've been picking 
up a hand shoveled load of rabbit manure from a local rabbit breeder. 
I use it as worm food and for composting.

This past month an article appeared in the local paper about our CSA. 
Some people, for reasons I can't deduce from reading the article 
myself, have deduced that we are getting rich growing organic 

Apparently the rabbit farmers (a school teaching couple) arrived at 
that conclusion. After complimenting the article, when I called to 
make a manure pickup appointment they told me that they'd like me to 
start making a financial contribution to their farm whenever I pick 
up manure.

I remember hearing John Jeavons talk about the day that organic 
farmers could no longer rely on manure as an input because it would 
be too expensive. I remember deciding at that time to never pay for 
manure, to do nothing to hasten the unaffordability of manure.

What about you? (Remember: this doesn't involve loading or hauling by 
the rabbit breeder. I shovel the manure from right where he'd put it 
if I wasn't taking it.) Would you pay for manure? Do you pay for 
manure now?

Oh, and if you were me and decided to give in for the 'convenience 
factor,' what would you expect a fair 'contribution' for rabbit 
manure would be?


-Allan Balliett

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