King of the dung heap
Some women covet a day at the spa, a candlelit dinner, and jewelry that shimmers and sparkles on their neck.
I love a day in the barnyard, two shovels, and manure that sifts and crumbles in my hands.
Farmer Bruce, who supplies us with gallons of cream-on-top milk, has offered up his lovely manure heap; I guess you could say we’re getting both ends of the cow now.
I can barely begin a new planting season until each garden bed has a fresh layer of manure.
We’ve picked rocks out of black, ultra-composted cow manure from the historic Fort Lewis Indian boarding school site. We’ve held our noses in the supremely stinky rabbit caverns of a spunky octogenarian who goes by “grandma.” We’ve sadly watched the health of our “goat lady” deteriorate while feisty new kids are born to her ewes each spring. And once, back in the early days, so hungry for manure, we drove–truck loaded with shovels and buckets–to the rural outskirts of town, and–ye gads!–knocked on the first door whose homestead sported a cow lazing about.
Because we know that this:
Col helped us shovel until Bruce’s grandson came home from the hills behind their house with the lizard he just caught. And a friendship as passionate and fleeting as a summer-camp romance bloomed and withered while Dan and I loaded eight 50-gallon garbage cans with cow poop.
Rose opted to stay in the truck, singing to herself and misplacing her crocs. I’m thinking she would have preferred a spa day and some sparkly jewelry topped off by a candlelit dinner. We’ll indoctrinate you yet Rose Raven.
Here’s our system, tried and true for twelve years:
Once home, Dan puts the heavy buckets on Col’s scooter and shuttles them around to our backyard (ingenious development since our wheelbarrow has a flat).
Overheard on the way home from a manure date:
Me: Thanks for helping me get manure to the garden.
Dan: I love shoveling shit with you.
*So. I’m just a teensy bit embarrassed that I just posted TEN pictures of our manure run. Maybe this is where you realize this is not the “Mommy blog” where I discuss decorative fingernail appliques or how to sneak spinach into your kids’ cupcakes. But if you’re still here, you’ve probably gathered that. Thank you for being here.