Fashionable fertilizer

David Manly
January 18, 2013
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Jan. 18, 2013 - Manure is, by its very nature, a very messy topic. Farmers and growers love the stuff, but to the general public, there is not a lot of excitement about the multitude of uses available for excrement (both human and animal).

The Fertile Earth Foundation, an environmental non-profit based in Miami, has put out a "Ladies of Manure 2013 Calendar" featuring beautiful women surrounded by all manner of manure to help combat this negative attitude.

Lanette Sobel, the executive director and co-founder of the Fertile Earth Foundation, says that the calendar stems from a conversation at a workshop on the merits of loving such a dirty subject. And this conversation eventually manifested itself into a calendar that celebrates an aspect of every day life for every single person.

"The purpose is to make people think. Or, better yet, re-think our connection to waste (specifically manure, but all waste)," she said. "We want people to recognize that it isn't gross or disgusting, but something useful and necessary. "

The photos were captured over six shoots using professional photographers, makeup artists, hair dressers and more to capture various aspects of manure. All the models, says Sobel, were Fertile Earth volunteers or do something to help protect the environment – from organic farming to running environmental magazines and fellow non-profits.

"Once we had most of the pictures," she added, "we launched a Kickstarter campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1569583232/the-ladies-of-manure-2013-calendar) and raised over $5000 from donors all over the country to design and print the calendar."

However, the calendar does not simply feature beautiful women surrounded by fertilizer, but includes tips and tricks about manure and composting, as well as providing additional information on how to get started and a Southern Florida planting guide.

The response to the calendar has been awesome, says Sobel. They received orders from all over the world from the Kickstarter campaign and interest continues to grow. Profits from the calendar will go to support future and present Fertile Earth projects, such as a food re-distribution project that diverts food scraps from landfill to feed people and animals.

"Women seem to really get the idea behind why we did this and have truly been supporting us," she added. "Men get it too, although I think they like the pictures the most."

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