Manure: No Longer Just a Fertilizer

28 02 2009
Matthew Freund at his farm in New Canaan, Conn., where he and his brother manufacture cowpots

Matthew Freund at his farm in New Canaan, Conn., where he and his brother manufacture cowpots

Who ever thought manure could be used for something other than fertilizer?

When Jane Slupecki, a marketing representative for the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, took a group of dairy farmers to a brainstorming session at a diner, she joked about how to solve the problem of manure.

“Cow poop is cow poop,” Slupecki said “Can’t you guys do something with this stuff— make a flowerpot or something?”

Little did she know this suggestion would be taken seriously.

After that meeting, Ben and Matthew Freund, two dairy farmers from my home state of Connecticut, decided to take matters into their own hands and started CowPots, a company that manufactures biodegradable flowerpots out of cow manure. According to a New York Times story, it took them two years to develop the pots, which they paid for with a $72,ooo grant from Connecticut’s Agricultural Businesses cluster.

Cowpots was one of 10 recipients of the 2007 Green Thumb award, an award presented by the Mail-order Gardening Association that recognizes new garden products available by mail or online.

Cowpots are made of dry manure fibers that begin to decompose within three or four weeks. The manufacturing process removes all weeds, pathogens, and odors from the manure.

Cowpots have gained a lot of national attention and the owners appeared on the Today Show and Dirty Jobs, a show on the Discovery Channel.

This is a link to the Dirty Jobs episode:

I think Cowpots are an ingenious idea and I can’t believe someone didn’t think of  it sooner.




One response

3 03 2009

What a fantastic bit of information. Thanks!

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