Horse Manure - Why so 'good' I wonder?
I'm sure there is "science" that discusses (no matter how difficult to follow) and explains (if 'you' can read between the "science"), why horse (or other) manure is "good" worm food. However...
Reading these threads: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/verm/msg0813521414920.html?22
Has me trying to understand EXACTLY why horse manure is such "good" worm food.
First let me say that "scientific" explanation isn't necessary if the animal (in this case worms) eats the "thing" in their wild environment. It is their FOOD! is 'explanation' enough. Nonetheless, "why" is a reasonable question when one is considering substitutes for their natural foods. (The reasons for considering substitutes are many. I don't intend to discuss those here.)
I think "why" should always be associated with "what", as in "Why do you care about WHAT?" In other words, we should ask the question "Why" only in the context of "what" we are trying to "get". In this case "compost".
Coming off the realization that what one reads in most places as "good" worm food, is actually "pre-food", not "actual" food, I am beginning to get a better understanding of why horse manure might be the "best" worm food when one wants to make "compost". (The "what" to which I referred.)
On a philosophicaal level I am quite loathe to use the phrase "known facts". However, I really don't want to let 'philosophy' cloud the issue here. Therefore, let me state the "known" about what worms eat:
Micro-organisms like bacteria and mold.
It has become clear to me through both personal observation and reading that "kitchen scraps" are actually not worm food, but rather worm "pre-food". They have not broken down to elements that the worms CAN eat. YET... horse manure is not only "ready-to-eat", (here after "RTE"), but the 'end product' (think of the pun there :) ), is essentially a single step from "poop" to "compost". Here is, in my OPINION, "why".
Most would readily accept - and readily proclaim - that horse poop is "full" of micro-organisms from the horse's gut. However, if "it" were that simple, other 'stuff' wouldn't be "pre-food", it would be RTE food. NOTHING we eat has NO micro-organisms on it. Put in the converse: EVERYTHING we eat has micro-organisms on it. Therefore, EVERYTHING should be at least "pretty good" RTE food. It isn't. I think horse manure IS RTE food because there is almost NOTHING else in horse poop BUT micro-organisms AND...
In other words, when the worms have eaten all of the micro-organisms in the horse manure, what is left that has NOT gone through their guts, (the undigested horse food), IS "compost". Nothing more needs to happen to it in order for it to become "what" we want.
Some might be saying: "Yabbut" (yeah but), that's true with everything I put in my worm bin." I would respond to that comment: "Au contrare". I disagree. Those other "pre-foods" HAVE to FIRST be broken down into "something" the worms can eat - horse manure does not - and SOME of what is left is NOT "what" we want - "compost".
More succinctly put:
Horse manure is the "best" worm food because it is made up of only two "things"; RTE worm food - micro-organisms - and the 'thing' we want - compost. Everything else we feed them is much more complex "food" that 1) has to be first broken down into RTE worm food, and 2) Has other "stuff" in it besides worm food and "compost".
Of course the process as a whole is more complex than this simple explanation. However, I would argue vigorously that most of that 'complexity' is more important for "science" than it is for us worm-growers. The "importance" - in my OPINION - of understanding WHY horse manure is such good food, clears the haze of "complexity" away from the process we enjoy, and allows us to focus on 'the big picture' instead of being lost in the 'trees' of "science" unable to see the 'forest' of reality.
Some will disagree with the above . However, I have always been a 'lumper', not a 'splitter'. I have always tried to diffuse the obfuscating "scientific" BS, with the beauty of Science, which is simplicity and clarity. Clarity, not relegated to the elite "priests of knowledge", but clarity to the Common Man. The gift that is Science is clarity and understanding. The religion that is science RELIES on "complexity" to obfuscate reality and understanding so that the priests must be 'consulted' in order for the Common Man to have "access" to "knowledge".
Horse poop is good worm food, and I am pretty sure I know why. Knowing why affords me peace because I can have greater success in what I do in my daily life. "It" is simple in spite of what priests and their acolytes shriek from their ivory towers.