Thursday, February 23, 2012


I thought long and hard about what to call this post. In the end, I figured I'd just go with Honesty.

Poop is a given on a farm of any kind. Critters just don't understand toileting like people do. Horse owners, like us, are often called Pilots. That's because we pile It here, we pile It get the idea! On our little hobby farm, we have quite the collection of poop. And we do collect it. We have no choice!

We have three compost piles next to the barn. We have one in the horse pasture. And we have one above the garden.

The ones next to the barn are actually one pile, divided. In the first section, we have the brand-spankin'-new, just outta the critter poop. When that gets full, we dump it into the second section, turning it as we do so. Turning compost allows air into it, which speeds the decomposition process. (If you want to learn more about composting, here's a reasonable place.) When it's sat there for a few months, we dump it into the third section, where the composting process finishes. We usually then pull that compost out of the third section, dumping it on the garden or flowerbeds and leaving section 3 open again for the stuff from section 2, when it's ready. We move compost to the garden or flowerbeds in the spring and fall.

The compost pile in the horse pasture is turned in "halves," moving it a little bit forward as we do so. Then it, too, goes on the garden or flowerbeds.

The pile above the garden is a stationary thing. I've been tossing weeds, trimmings and prunings back there for a while. Since our garden is at the bottom of a short slope, I'd like to build up the back a bit so I can build some sort of retaining wall. As it is, right now, mowing back there is difficult; the mower ends up slanted. A riding mower can't always handle going up the slope. So I have longer grass and weeds beginning to take up permanent residence there, and, then, encroaching into the garden. I thought if I piled vegetable garbage and poop back there, soil would eventually form. Then I could dig into it a bit, build that retaining wall, and continue putting yard refuse there until it was a level surface for mowing. My evil plot seems to be working. This summer or next I'll be able to put in that wall.

And that, dear reader, is the story of poop at our farm. I hope you enjoyed it!

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