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Alpaca Manure for the Garden

Alpacas in Texas January 6, 2015

Tuesday was a great day for shoveling alpaca manure.

Tuesday, one of the best days according to weather predictions for the week, four members of Loving Garland Green spent the afternoon in the beautiful sunshine shoveling alpaca manure for the Garland Community Garden.  We had fun.

Generally speaking, alpaca manure is expensive.  For example, Island Alpaca Company located in Martha's Vineyard, sells it for $11.95 for two pound bags.  Of course their product comes in a burlap bag with a block figure of black alpaca on it and you don't have to go out into the pasture and shovel your own into a fifty-pound bag that once held chicken feed. I guess there is something to be said for presentation.

At the farm where we gathered our Alpaca manure, we paid $4.50 per 50-pound bag we filled.  In approximately three hours, the four of us shoveled and bagged 19 fifty-pound bags.  At the Martha's Vineyard rate, each one of our bags would have cost us $298.75.  For the entire load we shoveled, we would have paid $5,676.25.

Why alpaca manure?

For Cold Compost
Alpaca manure, like rabbit manure, has many benefits for the garden. First of all, these manures can be cold-composted.  This means they can be put directly into the garden bed without danger of burning the plants or introducing any harmful pathogens into the soil.  You don't have to compost them first.  Just put them on top of the garden soil and water.  These types of manures also break down rather quickly and are an excellent source of nutrients for plants.  

For Compost Tea for Seedlings and Houseplants
Members of Loving Garland Green will put some of the pellets in a sock, stick the sock in a five-gallon bucket, soak it for about 48 hours, and make alpaca tea to feed to our seedlings--much cheaper than Miracle and we won't have to worry about burning the tender seedlings which we hope to sell at our April Seedling sale event down at the Garden and at the Garden Market place.

To Illustrate Market Potential of Alpaca Manure to Garland Residents
We will bag some of this up and sell it at the Garland Marketplace in April at a profit to raise money for Loving Garland Green's operations.  We will also be selling rabbit manure as well along with our seedlings. Woven into our mission as an organization is the goal to lift up our local economy by showing our residents that a plant-based economy offers almost unlimited opportunities for making money--and often with close to zero investment.

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Photos from January 6, 2015--In the Alpaca Pasture

Loving Garland Green Members, Kevin Keeling and Margie Rodgers in the pasture.  Kevin is project leader for two of our garden projects this spring:  Seedlings for Sale and our Three Sisters garden plot build. Margie, one of our board members, is the project leader for building a spiral herb garden down at the community garden.

Loving Garland Green Members, Gene and Margie Rodgers. Gene is leading two of our water conservation projects:  rainwater harvesting and rainwater monitoring in the garden.

 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015