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.


  1. Wow. what an interesting idea. Thanks for sharing.

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