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Chelsea Green Blog

Sustainablog reviews Holy Shit

“Holy Shit!” is damned right. Here’s a book about just that — manure. Precious, plentiful, misunderstood manure. Cow manure, horse poop, human feces, dog shit, you name it, Gene Logsdon writes about it.

In this recent book from good ol’ contrary farmer Gene Logsdon, the wonder and mystery and amazing fertilizing power of manure is revealed. Simultaneously, the book will make you wonder why we let this, uh, natural resource cause so much harm when it could be doing so much good! “Managing manure to save mankind” is no light statement, but it’s very, very real.

Farmer or not, Holy Shit has appeal beyond those folks living in the country and growing crops like our own Mr. Logsdon has been doing for dozens of years. Logsdon dives into the proverbial pile and beautifully (and with great wit) describes the power of poop in its amazing ability to fertilize and enrich the world’s soil, instead of polluting our waterways and air. I learned, for instance, that some places have the nerve to burn the stuff, on top of letting it pollute the waterways! Why do we spend billions of dollars each year letting manure cause so much harm when it is worth so much? Currently, much of the industrialized world flushes their business away, never to be seen again, but Logsdon bravely explains why this practice is unsustainable, and could be reversed to help build up the soil fertility that has been lost through years of exploitative farming practices. Logsdon’s musing on cow pies and road apples is inspirational, and that’s no joke. With years of firsthand experience, Logsdon is the real deal: he speaks what he preaches, and provides many an example of how to better handle the vast loads of shit this world’s people and animals produce. Environmentalists, farmers, gardeners, and everyday citizens take note: this is an important (and very entertaining) read about something we deal with everyday, but actually have extremely little understanding of. Read the original review by Ziggy on Sustainablog. Gene Logsdon’s Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind is available now.


Recipe: How to Make the Perfect Pancake

When most people think pancakes, they think breakfast. But for Amy Halloran, breakfast is only the start. Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket, is a self-described pancake connoisseur. From a young age, she was entranced by the magic of bubbly batter rising to fluffy cakes on the griddle. Over time, her love of pancakes […] Read More..

5 Common Invasive Species and How to Manage Them

Last week, we asked authors Tao Orion and Katrina Blair to share alternative approaches to managing five different plant species commonly held to be “invasive.” St. John’s Wort, Garlic Mustard, Thistle, Oxeye Daisy, and Kudzu are often dismissed as annoyances at best and the target of aggressive eradication with harmful chemicals at worst. Orion and […] Read More..

Uncovering the Many Uses for Abundant Kudzu

As Invasive Species Week comes to a close, Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species, and Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds,  share alternative approaches to understanding and managing Kudzu. Take a look through our final profile and check out any you might have missed along the way: Oxeye […] Read More..

Oxeye Daisy: A Plant for the Pollinators

As Invasive Species Week continues, Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species, and Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, are sharing alternative approaches to managing and using plants considered to be “invasive.” Take a look through today’s profile on Oxeye Daisy and check out tips for working with Garlic […] Read More..

How to Manage Invasive Thistle and Improve Your Soil

As Invasive Species Week continues, Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species, and Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, are sharing alternative approaches to managing and using plants considered to be “invasive.” Take a look through today’s profile on two variations of Thistle and check out tips for working […] Read More..