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Holy Shit: Managing Manure To Save Mankind

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  262 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
In his insightful new book, "Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind," contrary farmer Gene Logsdon provides the inside story of manure-our greatest, yet most misunderstood, natural resource. He begins by lamenting a modern society that not only throws away both animal and human manure-worth billions of dollars in fertilizer value-but that spends a staggering amount of ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published August 30th 2010)
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Apr 12, 2011 Matt rated it it was amazing
A must-read for any serious gardener, sustainability nut, or small-scale landholder or farmer.

Reading about poop has never been so entertaining?
Sep 10, 2011 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
I love this book, it makes so much sense if you can read it with an open mind and just not think about the crap. We've already incorporated the manure pack idea into our chicken coop and are looking into using some of his other suggestions. Logsdon also illustrates how our ways of disposing large amounts of manure, esp. in large animal lots and human sewer systems, is a wasteful, useless practice that does more to waste water than it does to dispose of crap. Logsdon writes in a disarmingly funny ...more
Aug 07, 2011 zxvasdf rated it it was amazing
This dude is not filled with horse shit!

Gene puts the science of shit down on print for the layman, and presents his opinion of the meat industry in no unclear terms. His vision of the future is apocalyptic, and his solution to what he believes to be inevitable is edenic.

Small communities with small farms practicing a cycle that has lasted for years and is still practiced in third world countries. The animals feed the earth with their leavings and the earth feeds the animal, and everyone else,
Dec 20, 2010 Anna rated it it was ok
I adore biomass in every form and am a firm believer that manure is key to a healthy homestead (and should be used much, much more in conventional agriculture.) You would have thought I would love this book, right? Unfortunately, it's more of a philosophical rant than the kind of book I like (with useful, scientific information I can put to work on the farm.) Some of the book is also recycled from his previous publications, and as a result it felt disjointed. I was left feeling the same way I us ...more
Aspen Junge
Aug 05, 2011 Aspen Junge rated it it was amazing
Shelves: save-the-world
Think manure is icky? Get over it.

Manure is an inevitable part of the cycle of life, and by mismanaging it and removing it from our food system, we are wasting a precious resource. Logsdon, with his usual wit and verve, discusses the best ways to manage the manure of farm animals, and has some strong opinions on the ways we humans handle our own. Once the stuff is properly composted, whatever its origin, it's the best darn fertilizer anywhere, and free for the price of hauling it to the field.

Emily McCune
Dec 15, 2011 Emily McCune rated it it was amazing
Wonderful and informative!! Can't wait to tell my classmates about this one. Gene Logsdon is a funny, clear and practical writer, and I very much look forward to reading ALL of his other books, both non-fiction and his novels!! He not only discusses the importance of reusing animal (and human) waste, but he emphasizes WHY it's important, WHAT it brings to the table as far as soil fertility goes, and thoroughly describes EXACTLY HOW to do it. SUPER practical for me, given my chosen career path. I ...more
Oct 20, 2016 Grace rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you have ever had a fondness for efficiency, cradle-to-cradle, fecal transplantation, mutualism or finding out how things work, this book would be a joy to read. In fact, it may make you CRAVE to put some of the strategies into action. Not to mention inform misconceptions we may not even be aware of holding!

Writing is comfortable and accessible, sprinkled with light humor. He makes what might seem a dull topic fascinating indeed.
Henri Moreaux
Holy Shit is a book all about, well, shit.

It approaches the subject of manure with humour and wit yet still delivers ample material for thought.

Includes information on management of cow, pig, sheep, goat, horse, chicken & human manure as well as carcusses.

A quick read, but a good read.
Nov 28, 2016 Bobbettylou rated it it was amazing
This is the bible for composting manure, including "humanure." But it is more than a how to book. It is engagingly written by a farmer-journalist, full of social commentary and well-told stories.
Mathew Carruthers
Jan 23, 2014 Mathew Carruthers rated it it was amazing
As entertaining as it is informative - a true eye-opener to the need for better waste management practices.
Jun 11, 2017 Ashleigh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gene Logsdon is the long lost uncle I never had, I feel like we would have been friends given the change. His writing is clear and funny and extremely accessible. I grew up on a farm, so I may be biased, but I think that the books he writes could be read by anybody.

Even if you never intend to have animals and figure out how to optimize your property for nutrient retention, knowing that this is how farmers really think about the world is valuable. There are a lot of people who don't personally kn
Camille Baird
May 07, 2017 Camille Baird rated it really liked it
Great book for reading if you are interested in soil management, makeup and replenishment. Composting and manure - everything you wanted to know. well written.
Oct 14, 2016 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have just read an entire book about composting manure . . . and that's still kind of amazing to me. Now, I already have to go back and re-read the chicken manure section as a friend of mine has just decided to start composting the manure from her chicken coop. I'm so excited to help, and this book has made me less embarrassed by that statement.
Kitten Kisser
Sep 10, 2014 Kitten Kisser rated it it was amazing
Not your typical composting book - thank God!

The author has a very witty way of getting his point across regarding poop of virtually every kind. After all everything poops or farts or burps. The dilemma of late has been all about green house gasses & CFO's (Factory Farms where the animals pretty much stand knee deep in their own waste - enjoy your steak yum!).

Our disgust with our food system is one of the reasons why we try to avoid supporting it! We support local family farms as much as pos
Jan 06, 2015 Mark rated it it was amazing
Gene Logsdon writes about farming, but he writes about farming in the way an artist might write about art. Logsdon's books are along the lines of Wendell Berry, but with a humorous bent and this book is no different. Holy Shit documents Logsdon's long time love affair with manure of many kinds, including human. He reminds us that it is precisely things like shit, that we don't like to talk about, that are often the most important thing in life. He writes, "It gladdens my heart to think that orga ...more
T. Eric
Feb 11, 2017 T. Eric rated it it was amazing
Great book; worth the read for anyone. Logsdon gives his viewpoint on our country, waste management, and agriculture without being preachy. It's the kind of book most people will roll their eye at being told to read it, but after will insist others read it as well. The most valuable thing I took from this book is the realization of my unnatural, subconscious attitude toward animal/human waste.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2012 Cathy rated it really liked it
When I saw this book at the public library, I thought it might help me manage composting my horse manure. In a bizarre twist, I was finishing this book while traveling to Ohio and New York, where I discussed it with relatives who are former dairy farmers, currently vets and working for a company that handles waste treatment plant sludge (discussed in book), and friends who currently run an organic dairy farm employing some of the practices in this book. Our host actually knew the author of the b ...more
This is Logsdon's most recent book I believe, and it completely focused on the value (or lack thereof) of manure. He discusses manure in depth, from the value that manure has when you compare the average nutrient content to the expensive chemical fertilizers that we use, and how that value is likely to go up as resources for those chemical concoctions are depleted. He also discusses a little bit about the history of manure use and then goes in depth about different types of manure from chickens ...more
Christina David
Dec 02, 2015 Christina David rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-education
Gene Logsdon-- if you are into sustainable farming and want to read something written by an actual farmer, pick this guy! I don't get through books as fast as I used to, and wondered, Will I be able to get through a whole book that is specifically focused on manure? My conclusion is yes, because Logsdon packs it full of cute and comedic lines and anecdotes, as well as interesting information on how farmers used to holistically manage manure before the advent of synthetic fertilizer.

I will say t
Mar 08, 2011 Venessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book: who knew composting poop could be so hilarious? Logsdon does a fantastic job of combining wry humor and outraged politics to convince humanity that there's nothing wrong with poop, or for using it's incredible fertilizing properties to create food for everyone - yes, even human poop, you squeamish folk. In fact, Logsdon does a pretty damn good job of arguing this is what we're going to have to do, indeed should have already started, if we want to keep our extravagant lifestyles. Ex ...more
Feb 15, 2011 Astin rated it really liked it
I never thought I'd read a book about the ins and outs of managing chicken, cow, goat, sheep, and yes...even human shit. But this book is timely, thought provoking, and even hilarious! He makes a well researched and experienced case for using manure instead of fertilizers on our small gardens and farms, and the best methods for doing so. As fertilizers become less available and more expensive, it may soon be that cows become just as valuable for their shit than their meat and milk.

Someday, I hop
Jan 21, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing

This book will save the world. We have become so disconnected from the earth that we do not even realize we are part of it anymore, and look at it as an object to rape, and plunder.

This book tells us how to reconnect, by reconnecting with what is important, the land, community, and instilling lessons like sometime doing thing slow is better.

I hope to start living this soon and hope for everyone's sake that others do so as well. If we don't wake us soon it will be too late.

It seems like al
Steven Allen
Jul 19, 2013 Steven Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a quick read at only 204 pages. I like the author's tone and sense of humor about something most of us would not care to think about. Some of his suggestions will creep out the germophobes and clean freaks. I too found myself creeped out by the thought of using composted human waste in my garden. Otherwise his suggestions for handling small hobby or truck farm animal waste are very easy to grasp. Unfortunately the author's suggestions require a large piece of land and farm animals both o ...more
Nov 14, 2013 Liz rated it it was amazing
This is a little gem of a book covering every poop-related topic you can think of: the animals (including pets and humans) that it comes from, how to avoid losing nutrients in it, and how to use it on farm or garden. Gene Logsdon is humorous without being juvenile; he explains without being boring; and he lays out the specifics very plainly. If I was homesteading (as I once longed to do), I’d own every one of his books and refer to them daily.
Jim Bronec
Jun 19, 2011 Jim Bronec rated it liked it
Ah manure! This book had some interesting info about different kinds of manure and the best way of handling them for best fertilizer use. Of course this book isn't for everyone but those interested in the topic will find some good information. Logsdon has an engaging and folksy writing style that is fun. This also has some challenges about what we humans do (or don't do) with our own waste. Fun stuff.
Apr 19, 2011 Vicki rated it really liked it
Now that I'm a composter, this was a must-have to help better understand the finer points of animal manure management. We have chickens and goats, so naturally, I was curious about how best to use their waste. This is a very good resource manual for any farmer or anyone who cares about their soil.
Sep 08, 2014 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Do you poop? Then you ought to read this. Wonderfully written and so incredibly packed with practical information, whether you have a farm or not, this book will make you rethink your relationship with your toilet. I'm so excited to put some of the practical advice in this book to use in the coming years.
Dec 17, 2012 Bre rated it really liked it
I thought it was a very succinct treatise on manure and waste management, easy to read and understand.

The most sincere complement I think I can give this book is that flushing the toilet has become something I think about, as opposed to a reflex, and it makes me cringe! The water waste! The plant nutrient waste!
Jun 01, 2013 Anne rated it it was amazing
Holy Shit is right!! Fantastic book about the organisms in our lives and soil....that we mindlessly think we need to kill-which leads to a severe reduction in the heath, value and sustainability of our foods. Too bad shit isn't revered as well as other 'holy' things are.
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