Q & A

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Eric Vinje

Hello –

​How long ago were the rabbits inhabiting the plot? Were any broad spectrum herbicides applied before the rabbits were introduced? That is the only addition that would be of concern to me. ​It is simply a three year wait period from the date of the last in-organic addition in order to certify a plot as organic. Unfortunately, due to this transition period it is impossible to certify your plot as “organic” until you’ve waited three years, even if starting with untouched land or certified organic soil and nutrients. Based upon your description of the plot and previous land use I would not be concerned about residual chemicals beyond 90 days. Decomposed rabbit manure is actually thought to be one of the best soil conditioners. If you can, I would hold out and wait to plant in this soil, as it will likely be highly productive.

Have you done a soil test to confirm contamination? I would ask the farmer directly what sorts of herbicides and fertilizers he is using. He may be using a stable product that has minimal or non-existant rates of seepage. Working with your neighbor may be key in this situation. He would be able to tell you exactly what products he is using, and hopefully be able to explain their life cycle through the soil. He may also have an idea where you could find manure or topsoil that has been untouched for cheap or free.

Hope this helps,
Good Luck!