Black Gold
June 16, 2011, 7:14 am
Filed under: June 2011
Composted manure ready to apply

June 16, 2011

     The manure pit is full waiting for the weather to clear so we can get it put out on our fields. This black gold makes up the biggest part of our fertility plan. It is turning our farm into a grassland paradise.
     It is amazing how much of a difference manure application, timely mowing and crop rotation has made on our farm. The soils were depleted when we came here nineteen years ago. I followed in the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and my grandpas with my farming methods. I’m not sure if the two past presidents are proud, but I am sure that my grandpas are.
     The productivity of our farm has increased by leaps and bounds. We raise most of our animal’s food and a great deal of ours, while protecting water quality for folks miles away. Our conservation plan ensures only good comes from the manure applied on our fields. We don’t apply on snow or wet fields when run-off is a big concern. I want the nutrients to wash into the soil, not off of it.
     We don’t apply any fresh raw manure other than what the animals leave while grazing. Those piles and patties are scattered by the chickens and are of little concern. Rotational grazing by mixed species keeps the pastures well clipped and well fertilized. It’s a very “green” way of doing things.
     I am not trendy or out to fill some environmentalist niche. I just know what works. I follow proven, time-tested , common sense farming methods. I have read about some, but many were handed down by my grandpas when they didn’t even know they were teaching. I watched and then followed their example. The proof of  their efforts can be seen on my farm…even by just driving by.
     It is a work in progress, this farm, but I enjoy working at it. I guess I too have taught while not knowing it. I have friends and family that are gardeners and small farmers. They get inspiration and advice from me. I in turn get to talk my favorite subjects with like-minded people, making for a wonderful time for me. I think that is what is called a win-win 😮
     If you garden or even grow a few house plants, you can benefit from a small pile of compost. Use your yard wastes, table scraps and even a bit of soil to build a small heap. Turn the pile when you feel like it or just let it rot. Dig into the bottom part of the pile now and then to put a little of the black gold around your plants or side dress your tomatoes. Your plants will benefit from the ready-made nutrient rich food. They will respond with flowers or vegetables, either way, it’s a nice reward 😮
     People wonder how I know so much about compost, manure and such… that’s easy … many will say…….. that I am full of it 😮

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People wonder how I know so much about compost, manure and such… that’s easy … many will say…….. that I am full of it


Comment by just the insightful neighbor

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