Friday, February 27, 2015

Advice, tips and resources for bloggers



-- Quote of the Day -- 




“Success is ordinary people stretching their dream to the world. 
Without a dream, you float.”


~ Bassey Dnon






-- Brummet's In the Media -- 



Valentina Drobnjak has a helpful information for bloggers and she contacted me earlier this month to appear in her interview series with blogging experts. How nice to be considered a blogging expert! Please do check out the interview and if you like it, please do share it on social networks :)  * Be sure to check out the closing section of that interview where I offered numerous resources.


Published at this wonderful site:


http://firstsiteguide.com/interviews/brummet-lifestyle-blogging/
 



Check out their Start a Blog Guide when you visit their site :)


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Frugal, Green Garden Tips



 -- Quote of the Day -- 



"Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference." 

~ Mignon McLaughlin



-- Brummet's In the Media -- 
 
 
 


Check out my latest article on the topic of reuse in the garden - great tips for a frugal, organic gardener and for anyone interested in living more green. 
Published at this wonderful site: 

http://www.garden-recycle.co.uk/trash-talks-garden-recycle/

 

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Product Review





-- Whole-Food Nutritional Supplement, Part 2 --

 

On January 16th I was approached by Patrick Ross of the Marketing Staff for NutriGold Inc. ( http://NutriGold.com ) to do a few reviews of some of their many products, which Patrick reported as shipped on January 20th, but didn’t arrive until Feb 9th. Due to the number of products I received in 2 separate packages, I’ve decided to create a 2-part review project. You can click here to find Part 1 …you may notice the intro/outro of the reviews are similar.



Whenever I do a review I look quite closely at a company, read the customer comments, do online research, scan their site, and read the material they send. In this case the company sent a 20-page catalog and the first thing I noticed were 2 symbols on the index page – one for Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and a “please recycle” symbol encouraging people to recycle their product information package.  SFI certifies that the catalog is printed on environmentally responsible harvested paper and the printing inks (EcoTech) are designed to come from 65% renewable content and omit near zero VOC’s (volatile organic compounds).  NutriGold is a nutritional supplement company based in North Orem, Utah (US) that values a challenge, integrity, kindness, health and respect. The company guarantees that they use high quality, clinically validated, certified organic, allergen-free ingredients based on clinical evidence. Their products do not contain GMO’s, additives, fillers, binders, artificial ingredients, stearates, sulfates or dioxides, eggs, peanuts, milk, shellfish or wheat.  The company sources, purifies and manufactures their products in the US.





I received:



Vitamin C ($38.32)

Coconut Oil ($18.32)

Healthy Glucose Support ($48.32)

Men's Multivitamin ($54.98)
...and 6 trial sample packages of omega-3 fish oil (see previous review for information on that product).







Coconut Oil Gold™ comes in a sturdy, white, recyclable plastic tub (16 oz.) with a screw top lid and contains a solid, creamy white substance. This organic product is made using cold-pressed processing (heat taints the nutrients in oils) and is contains 66-77% MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglyceride = fatty acids), lauric acid and vitamin C. I read a post on FaceBook recently that touted some 80 different uses for coconut oil, including using on razor burn. Dave (husband) tried that out right away since he happened to have a shaving rash and found it did not help, in fact it made the area really red and itchy. We know he isn’t allergic to the product, as we’ve cooked with coconut products in the past. He has, however, had great results in using the product on his chapped feet and hands, you can almost watch the skin heal – it works so fast. We use a clean butter knife to scrape a tiny amount out (keeping the product sanitary) and found that 1/8 tsp. melted instantly and was enough to moisturize both hands really well. The hands are greasy for a few minutes but the stuff soaks in fast. My friend Julie swears by coconut oil and says she uses the stuff on her face in place of commercial facial moisturizing cream. The bottle states that the product “rich flavor and aroma – ideal for cooking”; I’m looking forward to trying that.



Healthy Glucose Gold™ supports and maintains healthy glucose balance, pancreatic health and circulation with a special blend of herbs and other clinically proven ingredients. The bottle I received contained 60 vegetarian capsules, and the instructions say to take 1 pill 2 times per day about 30 minutes after a meal. The solid white recyclable bottle (#2) has a flip top lid and is sealed with a plastic wrap for safety.



Vitamin C Gold™ also came in a solid white recyclable bottle (#2) with a flip top lid and was sealed with a plastic wrap for safety. As you are probably already aware, vitamin C is vital for the body and is used in everything the body does but is most important for immune, bone production, eye, aging and heart systems.

This vitamin brand stands out from others because of the organic, full-spectrum berry blend, which provides additional antioxidant protection. Their “nutriberry” blend lists everything from currants, bilberry, pomegranate, lingonberry, grape, blueberry, cherry, elderberry and cranberry, to raspberry and others. The bottle I received offered 90 vegetarian capsules – these are NOT chewable. The instructions suggest taking 1 pill, once or twice a day.



Men’s Multi Gold™ arrived in a brown glass bottle (90 fairly large capsules) with a childproof twist off cap, and a plastic safety seal; the bottle, plastic seal and lid are recyclable. I’ve often wondered what the difference is between gender-based vitamins. Comparing the women’s to the men’s multivitamin/mineral products from this company I saw that neither contained calcium, the men’s had no iron. The men’s has a little bit more B1, and a little less B6 – however there was a lot less B9.  The instructions say to take 3 pills per day with or without food. They use the term “100% whole-food and cultured vitamins and minerals” which got me wondering what they meant by “cultured”.  A little research revealed that there is 100% or more of the RDA for 19 nutrients and it is formulated (cultured) with organic whole food nutrients derived from concentrated fruits, vegetables herbs and something they call “activfood™” – a nutritional yeast blend (probiotics, bioactive enzymes, glycoproteins, lipoproteins, chlorophyll, glucomannan, limoic acid, essential trace minerals, SOD, Glutathione, B-glucans, CoQ10) as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids. 



I do have some closing comments that I feel are important to mention. All the bottles and jars were topped with an easy-to-peel (non-recyclable) safety seal under the lid. Interestingly the supplement bottles did not contain cotton swab – which although compostable (shred by hand first) is additional “waste” and cost to the company – as such I felt the fact they didn’t include this item is a plus. Sadly the bottle labels have incredibly tiny printing that strained my relatively healthy eyesight. Some other companies have dealt with this issue by using labels that peel back to allow more print space. The website also had incredibly small text – I had to increase the size of the web pages twice.



Currently  http://NutriGold.com is offering a product-wide 40% discount for online purchases, so you might want to take advantage of their 100% satisfaction and 60 money-back guarantees.




Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
 


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Low Maintenance Gardening




Low Maintenance Gardening



* Written by:  Todd Haiman is a landscape and garden designer, principle of Todd Haiman Landscape Design in New York City which designs and builds residential gardens, roof gardens, brownstone gardens, large landscapes, vacation properties and public spaces. http://www.toddhaimanlandscapedesign.com




Whether your garden is a vertical landscape design or an urban landscape design it will require some maintenance. Low or easy maintenance gardening is what many people would like to embrace, either through necessity or preference. No garden will be a zero maintenance garden but most gardening activities have a lower input solution or alternative to consider.

A professional garden designer can design a low maintenance garden, but there is no such situation where it could be a no maintenance landscape or no maintenance garden design. Even a "landscape" of non-living material such as a concrete slab requires some maintenance. Over time it needs cleaning, over time it cracks due to the freezing and thawing effects of winter.

Here are some steps you can take for a low maintenance garden that you apply yourself.

1. Minimize the amount of lawn coverage. No ground cover or perennial plant you can name needs to be watered, mowed, and fed as often or as much as a lawn. Try using aggregates as a ground cover.

2. Choose plants wisely. Do research. Select plants specifically that are low maintenance plants. Ornamental grasses are extremely low-maintenance plants. The majority of rose selections while incredibly romantic, sensuous and gratifying are high maintenance with the management of aphid infestations, mildew and black spot.

3. Mulch. Mulch. Mulch. This is your greatest asset in the garden. It conserves moisture so you water less, balances temperature shifts, minimize freezing and thawing in the winter, and suppresses weed growth.

4. Limit containers. Containers need lots of maintenance from planting up, re-potting and feeding, to watering and handling. If you do opt for planters, try to use larger ones with greater volume of compost, as these should dry out less quickly.

5. Wrong plant, wrong place. Don't insist on growing rhododendrons on a chalky soil, or bog plants in a windswept dry garden. Equally, remember that lawn grasses are really plants suited to open conditions. Lawns planted in a shady brownstone garden yard, will always be difficult to keep to an acceptable quality. Consider performing a soil test to truly understand your garden and what plants are most suited.

6. Tender plants. These require seasonal tasks such as lifting, winter wrapping, moving to a protected environment or annual propagation. Instead, look for plants that are deemed fully hardy which can be left outdoors year round.

7. Hedges. If you can be patient with slower growing hedging plants until they reach the necessary height such as yew (Taxus baccata) or holly (Ilex aquifolium) you will be pruning less often. One "haircut" a year rather than 3/4 times a year.


Applying these principles in your garden design will cut down on the amount of work you'll perform and increase the amount of time you can relax in your garden.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor!



Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Safety tips

February's entrancing rays of sun, glimpses of warmer afternoons, receeding snow and the flurry of birds can be deceiving - winter is not over. In fact, February can often have some of the coldest weather. Winter is a great time though to plan for emergencies, set up prearranged meeting places and check on the first aide locations and supply level. 



10 Winter Home Safety Tips


"Winter and snow can be a fun time for families, but it is important that parents take steps towards ensuring a safe home environment for children and pets," says National Child Safety and Health Expert Debra Holtzman J.D., M.A, http://thesafetyexpert.com, the best-selling author of "The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety and Healthy Living" (Sentient Publications). Visit Debra Holtzman's Website http://thesafetyexpert.com, Connect with her on Twitter @SafetyExpert_ and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DebraHoltzmanTheSafetyExpert
 
Debra offers these easy-to-implement home safety tips to keep your entire family safe:

1. Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Change batteries at least once every year—an easy way to remember is to do it in the spring or fall when you change the clocks; test them monthly; replace the units every 10 years. Smoke alarms can cut your family's chances of dying in a fire by nearly half. Plan escape routes and conduct fire drills with the entire family at least twice a year. Designate a fixed place outside the home where family will meet.

2. Install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up: Install a CO alarm in the hallway near the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area. In addition, place one at least 15 feet from any fuel-burning appliance. More than 500 people die each year in the US from unintentional, non-fire related CO poisoning.

3. Three Activities to NEVER do:

-- burn charcoal in homes, tents, vehicles or garages

-- run a car in a garage, even if the garage doors are open

-- operate any sort of portable generator indoors, including homes, garages, basements, carports, crawl spaces and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.

Follow the instructions that come with your portable generator. Locate the unit outdoors and away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors.

4. Set hot water heaters no higher than 120 degrees F. Water with 140 degrees F. will produce a third-degree burn on a child in just 3 seconds! A lower water temperature will reduce the chance of scald burns.

5. To prepare for major snow storms and other natural disasters, assemble a fully stocked disaster supplies kit. Include baby supplies, nonperishable foods, water, prescription and necessary OTC medication, manual can opener, flashlights, radio, and batteries. Include essential items for your pets. Your kit should contain at a minimum, a 3-day supply. Glow-in-the-dark sticks are great to keep on hand, too; Children love them and they provide a nonflammable, non-spark producing, portable light.

Buying tip: Look for flashlights and radios powered by hand cranking so you won't have to worry about depleted batteries when power outages or other emergencies hit.

6. Assemble a fully stocked first aid kit. Include a first aid manual, disposable gloves, bandages of several sizes, antiseptic wipes and sharp scissors. Adults and teens should enroll in a first aid and CPR class.

7. Post emergency telephone numbers near every phone in your home and on the refrigerator, and put emergency numbers in your cell phone. Include the National Poison Hotline (1-800-222-1222), Police, Pediatrician, Veterinarian, Dentist, Family Doctor, and Fire Department. Also include the telephone number of a friend or relative living outside of the emergency area. (A caller is more likely to connect with a long-distance number outside the emergency area than with a local number within it.)

Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1.

You can use this handy form to Post Emergency Telephone Numbers. http://www.thesafetyexpert.com/images/Form%20for%20website%202013.pdf

8. When you use anti-freeze, take precautions. Children or pets could drink large amounts of this sweet-tasting liquid if it is left out in an open container or if spilled on your driveway. The main ingredient in many major antifreeze brands is ethylene glycol, which is extremely toxic. Use antifreeze with propylene glycol, which is considerably less toxic, or use antifreeze that has a bittering agent (denatonium benzoate) added to make it taste unpleasant.

9. Place space heaters and other heat sources at least three feet away from all flammable material. Never leave a child or pet unattended in a room with an operating fireplace, wood stove or space heater. (Consider putting a safety gate in the doorway to the room with a fireplace or installing a hearth gate around the area.) Allow ashes to cool before removing them. Dispose of ashes in a tightly covered metal container, and place it outdoors, at least 10 feet from the home and any other nearby buildings.

10. Keep up-to-date on all recalled products by visiting this website: http://www.Recalls.gov If you experience a safety problem with a consumer product or want to search for incident reports about products, go to http://www.saferproducts.gov/

Lastly, make sure outdoor pets have adequate shelter, unfrozen water and food.


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
 


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Reuse in the Garden



 -- Quote of the Day -- 



“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”

  ~ Rabindranath Tagore



-- Brummet's In the Media -- 

Check out my latest article on natural pest control in the garden - great tips for a frugal, organic gardener and for anyone interested in living more green. 

Published at this wonderful site: 
http://www.gardenfurniturecentre.co.uk/blog/natural-pest-control/


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 




Friday, February 13, 2015

World of Writing, interview


-- World of Writing -- 

Yep - time for another World of Writing interview - this time with Robert Uttaro who is in his eighth year of working and volunteering as a rape crisis counselor, public speaker and community educator. Inspired by his undergraduate studies in Criminal Justice, he continues to embrace a life-long commitment to activism and advocacy for survivors of sexual violence. Serving as a counselor, Uttaro supports rape survivors and their significant others through various legal and case management issues. He also facilitates workshops aimed at education, prevention and exposure of the realities of sexual violence. Uttaro is currently touring many universities and high schools throughout Massachusetts. Find out more about his book HERE
 
Q: Who inspired you to pursue a career in writing?
A: I did not consider myself a writer and never once tried to write a book until one experience changed my life. This experience was a dream I had. I woke up from this dream and said, “I have to write a book”. I interpreted this dream as a vision from God. I sat down at my computer that morning to write and that is how the book To the Survivors began. God inspired me to pursue a career in writing. 
Q: How does writing help you make a difference in the world?

A: My writing has helped women, men, and children who have been raped and sexually assaulted, as well as their significant others. The ways in which To the Survivors has helped people affected by sexual violence is impossible to quantify, but hearts continue to be moved. Teenagers have been inspired to become rape crisis counselors and others have been inspired to participate in their own activism. Rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters throughout the United States have officially accepted To the Survivors, which means staff and clients are using the book as an educational and helpful tool. My writing, as well as the written and verbal stories of the survivors in the book, has strengthened others to use their own voices to share their personal stories. My hope is that To the Survivors will always help and educate people in life and through a very difficult topic: sexual violence.

Q: Can you tell us what editors typically look for in a query letter or project proposal?

A: I may not be the best person to ask this because I was lucky enough to have the best editor who is a friend. When I proposed the idea of this project to her, my editor agreed to work with me because she shared my passion for this issue and she believed I would commit to the hard, long work of revision. Though we were friends, my editor looked for four things early on in the process: my sense of vision and purpose for the manuscript; my willingness to work together on brainstorming ideas and enhancing existing content; my willingness to heed direction on the technical/ grammatical side of things; and my willingness to revise, revise, revise. We both knew the editing process was not going to be simply about word-smithing or inserting a semi-colon here or there, although that certainly was part of it. The editing work of To the Survivors involved our shared goals about clarity of voice and message; we met weekly for the better part of a year to discuss the impact of each sentence on ourselves and prospective readers.

Q: What do you do when you are not writing?

A: I work a lot. When I am not working, I try to exercise and play basketball as often as I can. Music is a huge part of my life, so I listen to music as much as possible and always enjoy new music. Cooking for people is also one of my passions. I love cooking while listening to peaceful music and spending time with loved ones.

Q: What gave you the idea (inspiration) for this book?

A: The inspiration for To the Survivors came from a dream; I woke up from this dream and said, “I have to write a book”. I sat down at my computer that morning to write, and that is how the book To the Survivors began. That one dream inspired me throughout the writing process, and it continues to inspire my education and activism. Also, the men and women who have shared their painful stories with me of being raped and sexually assaulted and the millions of survivors I will never meet inspired To the Survivors.  

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in writing your non-fiction books?

A: A lot of my challenges were driven by insecurity, so it’s important for writers to not be insecure. I often didn’t think my writing was good, or I didn’t think my words would connect with others. I also had difficulty trying to convey what I was trying to really say. There were many times I felt lazy or nervous and wouldn’t write, and other times when I wanted to write but couldn’t. It’s imperative to not be nervous, to not fear anything, and to fight through whatever blockage one may have. Write, write, and write some more. Believe in yourself and your abilities, and don't stop writing if you have the desire to write.


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 





Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Product Review






Whole-Food Nutritional Supplement



On January 16th I was approached by Kirsten who works for the marketing department for NutriGold ( http://NutriGold.com ) to do a few reviews of some of their many products. I’ve decided to create a two-part review project due to the number of products I was sent. Whenever I do a review I look quite closely at a company, read the customer comments, do online research, scan their site, and read the material they send. In this case the company sent a 20-page catalog and the first thing I noticed were two symbols on the index page – one for Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and a “please recycle” symbol encouraging people to recycle their product information package.  SFI certifies that the catalog is printed on paper that was harvested responsibly, while the printing inks (EcoTech) are made from 65% renewable content and omit near zero VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). 



According to their website, NutriGold is a nutritional supplement company based in North Orem, Utah (USA) that values a challenge, integrity, kindness, health and respect. The company guarantees that they use certified organic, high quality, clinically validated and allergen-free ingredients. Their products do not contain GMO’s, additives, fillers, binders, artificial ingredients, stearates, sulfates or dioxides, eggs, peanuts, milk, shellfish or wheat. The company sources, purifies and manufactures their products in the USA.



On Jan. 27th, I received 2 bottles and 10 trial sample packs of Triple Strength Omega-3  Gold™ as well as a bottle of prenatal Multi-gold™ . These items were shipped in a recyclable cardboard box filled with packaging foam, which is not recyclable in our area, but could be reused.


NutriGold offers 3 different sizing options for their Triple Strength Omega-3™ - 30 ($14.98), 60 ($24.98) and 180 ($61.65) softgels. Each (fairly large) softgel capsule measures 1” in length, 1 cm wide, and is 13 calories with 1,250 mg of pharmaceutical grade concentrated fish oil. The oil is distilled to remove any impurities, toxins and heavy metals. The omega-3 product holds Certified Sustainable Seafood status and the fish is harvested off the Alaskan coast where the fish is naturally healthier and has fewer toxins, heavy metals and PCB’s. The capsule itself is made from bovine (cow) gelatin, vegetable glycerin, and purified water. Instructions are to take 1 pill 1-2 times per day before a meal. The solid white plastic bottle (#2) is recyclable and has a flip top lid for easy access.


For those of you unfamiliar with omega-3, 6 or 9 – these are polyunsaturated fatty acids, the good kind of fat, that helps reduce problems with heart and circulation, stimulates brain function, supports vision and joints, increases energy levels and supports emotional wellness. Omega 6 and 9 are fairly evident in today’s healthy diet, but omega-3 is hard to find except in a few sources like fish, avocado, coconut, flax seed, chia seed and hemp seed.


The other product, Whole-Food Prenatal Multi-Gold™, was packaged in a recyclable brown glass bottle and is a vegetarian (or vegan) multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement designed to support a healthy pregnancy. It comes in just one size via their website – 120 capsules with a list price of $54.98. Although I did notice the catalog showed a 90 capsule size. The instructions say to take 3 pills per day with or without food. They use the term “100% whole-food and cultured vitamins and minerals” on the bottle, which got me wondering what they meant by “cultured”.  A little research revealed it is formulated (cultured) with organic nutrients derived from concentrated fruits, vegetables herbs and something they call “activfood™” – a nutritional yeast blend (probiotics, bioactive enzymes, glycoproteins, lipoproteins, chlorophyll, glucomannan, limoic acid, essential trace minerals, SOD, Glutathione, B-glucans, CoQ10) as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids. This supplement provides 100% or more of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for a total of 19 nutrients.





While the current multivitamin brand on my table is not prenatal, I compared the two bottles and found NutriGold’s to contain 30% more nutrients, however I didn’t see calcium listed on the bottle. The clear capsules look to be about ¾” in length and reveal a light grey brown colored nutrient blend inside.


I do have some closing comments that I feel are important to mention. Both bottles were sealed with a clear (recyclable) plastic safety seal wrap and topped with an easy-to-peel safety seal under the lid. Interestingly the bottles did not contain cotton swab – which although compostable (shred by hand first) is additional “waste” and cost to the company – as such I felt the fact they didn’t include this item is a plus. Sadly the bottle labels have incredibly tiny printing that strained my relatively healthy eyesight – I found that a magnifying glass was helpful. The website also had incredibly small text; I had to increase the size of the web pages twice in order to read them.


Currently  http://NutriGold.com is offering a product-wide 40% discount for online purchases, so you might want to take advantage of their 100% satisfaction and 60 money-back guarantees.









Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 



Monday, February 9, 2015

Compost - Chicken Manure




-- Quote of the Day -- 

“You need good jobs and a clean environment. Without both, you will have neither.” 


~ Leo Gerard




Utilizing Chicken Waste for Compost

* Written by: Melissa Reinhart

Eggs are not the only beneficial byproduct of chickens. While a hen can produce an egg every 24 hours, they also produce 2 cubic feet of manure every year. The large quantity of manure that is being produced will be utilized in our three onsite greenhouses.


Chicken manure is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which makes it a good fertilizer. The concentration of these beneficial elements is higher in chicken manure than it is in more commonly utilized varieties, such as those derived from cows and horses. Chicken manure is too potent to be used on flowers or vegetables in raw form. Therefore, the manure must be composted before being added to the soil; otherwise it could damage roots, kill plants, or even cause illness. Once composted, however, chicken manure adds organic matter and beneficial biota content to the soil, and increases its ability to hold water.


The first step in composting chicken manure is to create a proper compost bin. The bin should be a minimum of 1 cubic yard. Composting chicken manure will require a two bin system: one will for the "hot composting" phase and a second for the "curing" phase.

Your chicken coop provides all the necessary material to begin composting. The coop bedding (the "browns" or Carbon) and the manure (the "greens" or nitrogen) will mix with air and moisture in your "hot" compost bin to begin the process.

The common bedding materials used for chicken coops are straw, sawdust, or, in some cases, dry leaves. When the bedding has reached the end of its life cycle, collect it with the manure, and dump the mixture into your compost bin. This chore can be completed on a daily or up to a bi-weekly basis, depending on the number of chickens in the coop.

It is recommended that gardeners use a mixture of 30 parts carbon to one part nitrogen, when composting. This will create an environment that allows microbes to break down organic material. Creating a proper mixture will take experimentation, as different bedding has varying amounts of nitrogen content. A simple ratio followed by most gardeners is one part "brown" to two parts "green."

Moisture needs to be added after the bedding and manure have been combined, but the mixture should not be allowed to liquefy. Ideally, your compost will have light, consistent moisture throughout. The pile should then be heated to achieve a 140 degree (F) center temperature, for 3-5 days. This temperature will kill dangerous pathogens, while allowing beneficial microorganisms to thrive. After 3-5 days, the mixture should be allowed to cool. This process should be repeated three times with mixing taking place throughout.

Upon completion of the hot composting cycle, the mixture should be allowed to cure for two months before it is used. When the compost resembles potting soil, it is generally ready to be added to your garden.
 
Fresh chicken manure contains diseases that may contaminate root crops such as carrots or beets, and leaf vegetables, like lettuce or spinach. It is important to never spread un-composted manure (of any kind) on the soil of your garden and never handle manure unless using proper protective materials, such as gloves and masks (if the material is dry).



Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!