Monday, March 14, 2011

What Manner Of Poo?

Circa 3 years ago, if you'd told me I'd be having this conversation with Mike while driving back from Flagstaff together, I'd have tried to mask my surprise at your far fetched assertion, because I'm nothing if not polite, even in the face of far fetchedness.

Anyway, the conversation went something like this:

Mike: "When are you going to plant?"

Teri: "Probably mid-April. But I need to get manure and stuff worked into the garden now."

Mike: "Where are you going to get the manure this year?"

Teri: "Well, I was going to talk to Doy (the hay farmer) about getting some of his steer manure again, but there's a part of me that just wants to go pick up some bags at the feed store, so I don't have to go shoveling poo into the truck in the wind again."

Mike: "Have you talked to Shumway about what they do with their horses' stuff?"

Teri: "You know, Debbie has said a couple of times that we're welcome to go get some of their poop whenever we want it."

Mike: "Well, why don't you talk to her? I could just take the tractor across the road and pick it up for you."

Ooooooo, the tractor. I'd forgotten about the tractor. I love the tractor. The tractor means not standing on a pile of poop and slinging shovels full onto the truck. Then standing in the back of the truck and slinging the same poop onto the garden later.

Teri: "That's a good idea. I'll give Debbie a call tomorrow. Besides, they've got so many horses and they've been there awhile, so there should be lots of the old, good stuff."

(FYI: Manure is better the longer it rots. No, I didn't expect to know this little morsel either, in my former, shiny life in the oh-so-neatly manicured suburbs. But there you have it: I know it.)

I'm pleased as punch to add that I followed this conversation up with a few moments of quiet pondering...musing...OK, very nearly daydreaming about just how old some of that poo might be and whether we might be fortunate enough to find some of the really awesome rotted black stuff.

Then, Mike got out to fill up the truck and I remembered I needed to call the butcher back to discuss getting the pigs butchered. So I did. And I talked for some time with the butcher about the ins and outs of what we'd be doing with the pigs and sounding very knowledgeable about the whole thing, not having to ask any clarifying questions or for him to spell anything for me to Google later, or anything.

Yep, a few years ago I could have told you all about plans to launch new masterplanned communities or how to re-brand an upscale shopping center, but now, well, now you can ask me whether chicken or horse poo is the better choice for your garden beds. The difference being my advice comes a LOT cheaper these days, even if it isn't imparted with near the level of expertise I used to offer.

Still, I'm learning, and you have to give a girl credit for being willing to step outside her comfort zone. Even if what she finds herself stepping into is a big ol' pile of poo.

Love from the farm,

(By the way, chicken poo is a great choice for your garden, but you better make sure it's good and aged or it'll burn your plants; on the other hand, horse poo works great, too, but you can look forward to many quality hours weeding if you don't mulch correctly. Which I haven't figured out...yet. I'll learn. As far as ideas for launching a new community, well, we can discuss that another time. When I'm wearing heels, not pondering whether it's too late in the season to plant early peas.)

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