Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thanks to the farmer across the field

There is a flock of sheep that lives across the field from me. The sound of their bleating is part of the music that accompanies me in my garden. The farmer is a 7th generation sheep farmer. Last year he offered me manure from his compost heap. Well I don’t have a truck, so I have been gathering containers that I could both fill and that weren’t too big so I could heave them around by myself. Tuesday my dream came true, and I met him at the west end of his manure heap and started shoveling.
As I came through the gate, he pointed out a new lamb in the herd that had taken everyone by surprise the day before since lambing was over in April. Apparently there was a young ewe that he had not allowed in the pen while the ram was around. But later, after the official breeding, there had been a mixup and some sheep got free and that is when we suspect the ram had his way with her. I asked him years ago what the ram’s name was and he said, “Well I don’t know that he has a name, but I call him Lucky Pierre.” Well Lucky Pierre has long since been retired – too much inbreeding – but his successor has added to the health of the flock not to mention the corruption of a young ewe.

So back to the compost operation. I left with five bins of manure and I’m planning to use it to start a Charles Wilber style compost pile. Please, if you’ve not read Charles Wilber and you care at all about growing tomatoes you must read his book. It is a hoot! I have always relied on table scraps and yard waste to feed my compost bin. Now I’ll get to make the really hot stuff. Stay tuned.


Jenn said...

Um. Those 'found' containers - you might want to be sure no one can see the logo plastered on them...

They will say on there, somewhere, 'Property of...'

Wouldn't want you to get into trouble with the big boys!

Leslie said...

Funny you say that, Jenn. I considered not posting that picture for that very reason. I will be returning the ones lined with plastic bags ... someday.

Jenn said...

Well, there you go. Borrowed. Not the same at all.