Monday, May 25, 2009

Scoop on Poop

As the world economy continues to struggle, many people world wide, who have never gardened before have started a simple garden. So this post is going to be devoted to poop. Yes, poop! Many gardeners are not fortunate to have prime soil to grow anything, and either have to rely on store bought manure, or find a source for the poo.

For me, I have chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats, and sheep that I can gather the waste to use to begin to create a great soil base. I also am so lucky to have a neighbor that raises horses and his sons gladly deliver manure monthly!

We have several piles of composting manure around the farm. We often water the piles to speed up the readiness time. Once the manure is ready we create a soil mix with compost items from the house, ash from the wood stove, and the soil here in New Mexico. This is somewhat a science that the more you play around with the better you will get, and the more you will understand. My husband has become the master and we have a mini oasis in the desert on our farm.

Here are several links to get you started. If you do not have animals to collect the poo, contact a local farmer, I promise that he will be willing to share the manure.
Using Manure in the Home Garden
Manure is an excellent fertilizer
Manure Matters
Using Manure

These are some beds I had when we lived in town. We used manure from a friend and look see how my garden grew! Notice the dry dirt areas everywhere...this is New Mexico and the heart of the desert. Nothing grows unless you baby the soil and use water(saving gray water, collecting any rain water, etc). I will try to post somewhere on the Canadian circuit some recent photos of my farm gardens. We have such lovely edible goodies all because we mastered poop!!

*Please be very cautious about manure. Do not use manure from animals that eat meat(cats, dogs etc) and most importantly do not use humanure. I know that many people are leaning toward this trend but food based illnesses come from humans that use the restroom(poo) and do not wash their hands. It is real and concerning. Err on the side of safety as there are zillions of places to go poo collecting!
(c) Double Nickel Farm