Organic Manure?

Organic Manure?

Something that never occurred to me until I read it in Organic Gardening today: the manure I bought for my beds may have come from animals fed with herbicide-laced feed. I'm not a stickler for organic produce or coffee or anything, but last year I read a wonderful book called Growing Pains: Time and Change in the Garden by Patricia Thorpe. This book asks, among other things, if you really want to wage chemical warfare on your garden for the sake of having unblemished plants. I decided I didn't, and cast away my Sevin and my Miracle-Gro. (Not literally; throwing them in the trash seems as unwise as using them on the plants, so I'm hoping a safe method of disposal turns up eventually.) A sprayed-on decoction of basil keeps away many pests, especially tomato hornworms, and my favorite nursery carries a nice (if expensive) line of organic fertilizers, Espoma, and of course there's fish emulsion and neem oil and all kinds of things you can use. The manure thing, though, was a surprise. Do I want to carry it that far? I don't know. Thoughts? (Unfortunately, I have chronic back pain/sciatica and can't go to an area horse farm and get my own. Gardening itself wears me out enough, but I love it.) Also, have any organic gardeners tried Sluggo for snails and slugs? How safe is it? Will it kill earthworms in my soil? Am I better off just sprinkling diatomaceous earth, which works pretty well but is apparently dangerous to inhale? I have garter snakes in my garden that like to eat them, so I don't want anything that could continue up the food chain.
complete noob.

complete noob.

Another angle of the mystery bug

Another angle of the mystery bug

Our Flower Show

Our Flower Show

Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks

How do I prune this?

How do I prune this?