Growing Herbs Eco Chicago IL

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Manure Tea not Eral Gray

Authentic Haven Brand in San Juan Capistrano is selling manure teabags. But don’t store them next to the Lipton box.
Yeah, you can steep them in a large water jar, but don’t leave the resulting brew on the porch with the lunch sandwiches and cookies, says owner Annie Haven.
Manure tea tastes like you-know-what to humans, but it’s nectar to your plants and roses, she says.
The manure itself may be too strong but the liquid derived from steeping “is like all natural, liquid vitamins.”
She deliberately makes Haven teabags 3-by-5 inches, larger than varieties for human tea, but a competitor, no longer in business, made spoon-sized bags that could be easily mistaken for the human variety, Haven says.
Haven manure teabags are sold online here, 3 for $12.95, 9 for $21.95. They’re also carried at Regalo, San Juan Capistrano; Sherman Library and Gardens, Corona Del Mar; Delaney’s Artisan market, Temecula; La Chatue, Murrieta; and DuPonts Winterthru Library and Gardens in Delaware.
There are other brands of manure tea, Haven says. Some sell worm casting tea, chicken manure tea. Some sell it in large bags, but pre-brewed tea doesn’t last because it loses nutrients, she insists.

“My grandmother brewed manure tea,” says Haven, who has lived all her life on Southern California cattle ranches and tomato farms. “I’m growing my green business in this brown economy.” says Annie Haven
Authentic Haven Brand teas come from cattle that are fed grass and no chemicals and no nutrients are added to the manure. “People ask what the urine content is, but these aren’t dairy cows, so this doesn’t have urine in it,” Haven says.
The Havens have been ranchers in the United States since 1873 and in what is now Orange County/North San Diego County as far back as 1910, Annie Haven says. At one point Haven Seed Company was a large producer of tomato seeds.

Most of her family are still in ranching and related industries farther north. Annie Haven splits her time between San Juan Capistrano and Murietta ranches.
She still raises cattle, selling off enough to make a living and breeding replacements. But prolonged periods of below-average rain had left her with too few head to live on, so she started commercializing what she calls the natural soil conditioner that’s a part of cattle ranching.
“American farmers and ranchers as far back as I can remember have never had just one business,” Haven says. “You cutting dead trees and low limbs and selling it for firewood, recycle scrap to sell.
The teabags are a value-added by-product of my livestock business.”
Haven has 3,000 followers on Twitter (@greensoil) and is hoping to win Intuit’s Love a Local Business contest.

Gardens Love Manure Tea

Gardens Love Haven Brand Moo Poo Tea
Posted by Jodi Torpey

March 31, 2010

Authentic Haven Brand natural soil conditioner teas are easy to brew and plants, like this blooming eggplant, love what the moo poo tea does to help them build healthy roots. (Photo credit: Lisa Gustavson, of, reprinted with permission.)

Note: Click this link for full article and pictures,

When I moved to the outskirts of Denver more than 10 years ago, I was delighted to see a boarding stable only a few miles away. I was looking forward to gathering aged horse apples and brewing my own manure tea to water plants in my garden.

I did brew a couple of batches in a plastic bucket. The plants certainly appreciated my efforts, but let’s just say the experience wasn’t as enjoyable as I hoped it would be.

Now every garden can have the benefit of an all-natural soil conditioner without the extra effort thanks to Annie Haven.

Annie is a rancher and entrepreneur in Southern California where she raises cattle and packages manure in over-sized tea bags. Green-minded gardeners from coast to coast–and such far-flung places as Spain and Singapore–order her all-natural products for their gardens.

Manure tea bags are steeped in a 1 to 5 gallon container for a few days and then diluted before using to water plants indoors and out.

Plants love the premium soil conditioner tea that Annie harvests from Haven raised, grass fed cattle. It’s then eco-packaged for distribution through her website at

Annie is proud to say all of her livestock are free of hormone-added grains, antibiotics and pesticides. There are no additives, fillers or machinery used in her product. It goes right from moo to you. Now that’s organic gardening!

“I’m extremely pleased to see the growth within the garden industry,” Annie says. “People are returning to gardening and seeking healthy, natural ways to raise their gardens.”

Annie says she packages Authentic Haven Brand premium soil conditioners for garden growers because it’s easy to brew and easy to use. The tea improves the soil and helps build root systems so plants can better absorb the nutrients they need.

Customers brag about how well their houseplants, container plants, vegetable gardens, shrubs and lawns are growing with the help of Annie’s tea. They specifically mention improved leaf color and increases in both bloom and vegetable yields.

“Most of all, they seem pleasingly shocked that there really is no smell from the tea.”

Tea bags are reasonably priced and can be ordered by the individual bag, 3-pack, 9-pack or by the case through her website. Shipping is free when payment is made through PayPal.
When Annie isn’t busy caring for her cattle or packaging her tea, she relates her adventures to a growing following on Twitter@GreenSoil.

Manure Tea and Earth Day

How will you celebrate Earth Day?

by Rebecca Sweet, Gossip in the Garden

Earth Day is April 22, and I’ve been invited to participate in a blogging event hosted by Jan Huston Doble’s blog Thanks For 2 Day, where garden bloggers are writing about ways in which we’re making ‘greener gardens’.

I’ve decided to write about two of my very favorite organic garden products: Haven’s Authentic Brand Soil Conditioning Tea and John & Bob’s Soil Optimizer.

1) Haven’s Authentic Brand Soil Conditioning Tea

The first is one that I lovingly call Moo Poo Tea. It’s really called Haven’s Authentic Brand soil conditioning tea. But Moo Poo Tea is definitely more fun to say.

What is it? It’s the by-product of natural grass-fed cows raised free of antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides. The rancher who created this product, Annie Haven, was kind enough to send me some samples which I said I’d gladly test for her.

When I opened the envelope, I was amazed at how darn cute these oversized tea bags were (yes, they’re intentionally oversized to avoid any possible mix-up with your regular Earl Grey tea bag! Ewwww….)

I must admit that due to it’s simplicity, I was a bit skeptical. It seemed simple enough to do – just brew a teabag in a 5-gallon bucket for several hours. Then over the course of about 3 days, use what you need directly on your houseplants or outside plants. There’s no smell whatsoever, and all you need to do is cover the bucket when you’re not using it.

I had been wanting to start some nasturtiums from seed, so I figured the timing was perfect! I split the seeds into 2 categories: 1 fertilized twice with the product, and 1 without any additional fertilizer.

This is the ‘before’ photo. Both sets of seedlings have been given only water, and both sets look the same. (click link below for full article and photos)

It’s now been about 10 days and I’ve given the batch on the right-hand side 2 doses of ‘tea’.

While the plants aren’t blooming yet, you can clearly see the difference in growth habits! One has thicker, lush growth on sturdier stems, while the other is lanky with sparse foliage.

This is a ‘test in progress’ as I only planted them in the ground about 3 weeks ago. I’ll keep you all up to date with the progress of my test batch, as I’m sure the results will be dramatic!

Click here to read some amazing history about Haven’s ranch – makes you proud to be using their tea bags, that’s for sure!

Note: Click or copy and paste this link to view the full post by Rebecca Sweet Gossip in the Garden for Earth Day aritcle complete with pictures

Manure Tea Garden GIVEAWAY

Garden Giveaway #14: The Encore
Posted on April 16th, 2010 by James

You thought it was over didn’t you? To be honest… we did too. Then as people started to whine and pout – we had to do something.
And did we ever do something about it.
Well… we can’t even take credit for this. Seriously… this is bigger than us. This has everything to do with the awesome sponsors of this giveaway. I don’t think we even need to go any further… let’s just get to all this giveaway madness. I hope you have a minute… err an hour.
Encore Garden Giveaway #1 - Authentic Haven Brand Natural Brew Soil Conditioner Tea
Yup… Annie is back… and she’s bringing her sh!tbags w/ her! We have already given away 1 gift pack of Annie’s Moo Poo Teas – and she was so saddened by the contests being over… she tweeted me and said – I WILL GIVE MORE IF YOU WILL KEEP THEM GOING! So… we had to right? Right.
If you haven’t tried these cow/horse manure teas – they will get your garden going! I mean really going! Big blooms for your flowers & big veggies in your garden. We are always looking for organic ways to feed our plants and these manure teas totally fit the bill! No crap! Well… ok… there is lots of crap involved… but you get the idea. Annie @ Authentic Haven Brand is chipping in not 1… not 2… but 3 gift packs for this encore celebration of National Gardening Month! So what does that mean? 3 winners!
Click or copy and paste this link to enter the garden GIVEAWAY of GIVEAWAYs for garden products you know and love.

Manure Tea a Green Business

Manure tea bags get constant comment
Ron Dicker Mar 25th 2010 at 12:00PM

Annie Haven's manure tea bags might appear steeped in novelty, but when it comes to brewing up business, the woman knows her you-know-what."I didn't just look at my cows and say I'm going to sell manure," Haven, a rancher in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., told WalletPop.
Just for clarification: You don't drink manure tea. You pour it in your soil so plants and flowers flourish.
She makes the teabags bigger so you won't confuse them with the potable kind. But you brew it in a jar like sun tea. Haven Authentic Brand tea bags have become a hit among ecology-minded home gardeners, with more than 3,000 disciples on Twitter, according to the Orange County Register. They're also generating constant comment for the packaging, even if Haven says that isn't what's driving consumers and retailers."I'm not really sure they're attracted to the gimmick of it," she said. "It's the ease of it.
"No stench. No hauling of the unedited stuff required. And plants receive a direct blast of nutrients at the roots, according to Haven. Pre-brewed won't work, she explained, because the vitamins dissolve too quickly. Haven said the goods emerge from grass-eating cattle that are drug- and hormone-free. She won't reveal her process for distilling the teabag-ready stuff, but assures that it's by "environmental design.
"The price ($12.95 for three teabags of cow or horse "soil conditioner") is positively Lipton-like when you realize that you can make five gallons per bag. That's a lot of watering, given that most of her customers tend to foliage in a small space, she told WalletPop. Since she began selling the teabags, she estimated that her income has increased by a third. Development of her once-rural surroundings shrank her livestock enterprise. Fewer farmers and growers required her services, so she developed a product that she could sell to the very people who now occupy the built-up spaces.
Therein lies Haven's lesson for small-business owners: Meet a need with the resources you have and the conditions you live in."I've grown the business as the business has demanded growth," she said. "Sales built the product, the product built the website.
"Haven's grandmother brewed manure tea, and a Canadian company tried packaging a brand of manure tea years ago but made the teabags so close to human-portion size that perhaps they over-exploited the gimmick of it, she explained. So far, the rancher has avoided critical missteps. Said Haven: "I know this baby from the ground up."