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.