a source of nitrogenous matter, out of which we are constructed,
why else are green plants food for us, and how did they get that way?
Not only do we get most of our matter from greeen plants, we
also get much of our energy from green plants. For us to have energy
we also require water (which may come from green plants) and aerial molecular
oxygen. Plant carbohydrates, plant fats -- and plant proteins too -- plus
water and oxygen, enable us to have energy for contructing our matter,
and for whatever else we use energy for.
In order to assemble nitrogen atoms, and other atoms, into the material
of green plants, green plants need enrergy. Green plants get energy
from aerial carbon dioxide, water, and light -- they make carbohydrates
from these, in which energy they use for contructing their matter -- and
doing whatever else they use energy for -- is stored. Their bilogical process
of synthesizing carbohydrates is called carbohydrate photosynthesis.
plants convert stored carbohydrates into energy (the process of doing this
is called respiration) as needed. They convert carbohydrates to
fats. Then they convert fats back to carbohydrates. The same carbohydrates,
and fats, that plants use for their own energy, can be usurped by humans,
and used for our energy. This means that these natural
carbohydrates, that we use, are properly described as being synthetic
Plus humans can also derive energy from proteins -- after first converting
them to fats and carbohydrates. I'm not sure if plants can convert
their proteins to carbohydrates and fats, and use them for energy.
manure something you spread over soil, or mix in with it,
for the purpose of increasing the nutrients available to green plants grown
in the soil, or for the purpose of otherwize improving the quality of soil
for growing green plants in it. Manure can consist of decomposing plant
matter, pulverized minerals, decomposing animal tissues, animal excrement,
or combinations of these. Industrially-produced plant nutrients are also
often referred to as being a kind of manure. Some of these materials are
considered suitable for "veganic" cultivation,
manurial application manurial application of materials
any material or materials on the soil or mixing it in with the soil, for
the purpose of improving the soil in some way. See the definition of manure.
A manurial application of ground limestone at the beginning of the season
helped adjust the soils pH balance.
compost a kind of material consisting of mostly plant matter
that is in advanced stages of decomposition, and decay by decay organisms.
Compost can be spread over the soil or mixed in with it. It is traditional
to describe it as being a kind of manure, if it is used this way.
green manure green plants grown, farmed, for being eventually
used as a manure, or a manure consisting largely of such green plants,
in various stages of decomposition or in the form of mature compost.
Green manures, while still alive and growing, may be turned directly into
the soil, to improve the soil and add nutrients to it, or may be cut down,
or pulled out, and composted elsewhere.
animal excrement manures animal excrement, after being allowed
to decompose further once it has been excreted, has been used as a manure.
However animal excrement is only one kind of manure. See the definition
So by now you should know that the terms manure, and animal excrement
used to improve soil, are not synonymous. Animal excrement is only one
of the various materials that are used manurially.
The cow supports a microbial population in its gastro-intestinal system
that speeds the rate at which the material decomposes.
Cow excrement has a greater concentration of microbial life which causes
the excrement to continue to decompose at a faster rate, even after it
is excreted, than compost formed in a bin would decompose.
This microbial life will also help other materials in the soil that it
has been added to, to decompose faster.
Excrement adds off-flavors
It has long been observered that the soil that plants are grown in
affects the flavor of the plants, and that to some extent, the aroma and
flavor of certain soil additives can be smelled or tasted, to a certain
extent, when the plant grown in that soil is eaten. Many farmers have asserted
that soil treated with cow excrement produces plants which tastes better
than soil treated with chicken excrement. And this assertion is not generally
challenged by anyone who has performed taste tests. Most people can taste
the faint, but distinct echo of chicken manure, in the flavor of plants
that have been grown in soil treated with a lot of chicken manure.
People who taste plants grown in soil treated with industrially produced
nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, generally assert that these substances
do not add any "off" flavors to the plant. They also tend to assert that
plants grown in soil that has been treated with a great deal of compost
made from fall tree-leaves, and various green manures such as legumes and
grasses, tend to have a flavor that has more "interest" and "character."
The flavor can depend upon the kind of green manures used.
If you take some of the same materials that a cow would eat, and instead
of running it through several cows' gastrointesinal systems, instead of
using cows' gastrointestnal systems as a compost bins, you can simply let
the material decompose in a pile, or piles. This is a tool for veganic
gardeners. What advantage is there to running the material through a cow's
gastro-intestinal system first? What disadvantages are there to running
it through cow's gastro-intestinal system?
Advantages to using cows' gastro-intestinal systems in place of plain
wooden compost bins
Disadvantages to using cows' gastro-intestinal systems in place of plain
wooden compost bins
The microbial population in a cows gastro-intestinal tract is less like
the microbial population of garden soil than that of compost formed in
a simple compost bin.
The microbial population in a cows gastro-intestinal tract is more likely
to have microorganisms that are pathogenic to humans than the microbial
population of compost formed in a simple compost bin.
The cow removes some nutrients from the material for its own use, thus
preventing those nutrients from being added to the soil.
The cow concentrates certain toxic materials in its excrement, so that
they will be at a much higher concentration than similar materials would
be, in compost formed in a compost bin. These materials, if they are then
added to the soil, can be taken up by plants grown in the soil.
Decompostion that takes place too fast, in soil, can interfere with
plant growth. So if the amount of animal excrement one adds to soil
exceeds a certain amount, it becomes harful to one's garden. As long as
bin-formed compost is fully mature, there is little likelyhood of any problems
being caused by adding too much compost to soil. In fact you can
grow many plants directly in plain mature compost, without any other soil.
Plain well-rotted cow manure is not likely to support much plant growth,
if it supports any at all.
More on excrement in soil.