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June 26, 2012: Still More on the Subject of Manure Management

On Sunday evening, Pete, Christopher, and I stopped at Karen and Gene’s place, in order to take a look at their gardening efforts. They have a beautiful garden, raised beds separated by gravel pathways. Everything looks good, except for the acorn squash, which appears to be on its lips.

Gene and I got to talking about my composting plans, with me first telling him about my high end composting project. He had a lot of good ideas about this, and pointed out to me that I should be adding coffee grounds to what I’m

now making. Encouraged, I then began elaborating on a far bigger plan, telling him that I’d like to build a shelter to house the compost stations. “This way,” I says, “I ‘ll have a winter storage area. And in addition, two more months of turnover time.” Gene listened carefully to me rattle on. I said that I could, in this shelter area, have a space for worms, my kitchen scraps, and greens. In addition, I’d have a place in which to grow and harvest mushrooms.

Then, all day Sunday, I continued to think about composting on a larger scale. I could, I decided, be a compost share cropper or, rather, compost crop sharer. I’d get people to invest in my business – this would take the form of labor and maybe supplies. Last night I ran this by Andre, who is another neighbor, adding that the size of my venture would not exceed the amount of manure that my horses produce.

I concluded by telling Andre that a tractor would be most useful. Much to my surprise he said “No problem, I can hook you up.” So, it is starting to look as though I am going to have a compost facility, that is one in which there will be very little manual labor. I will give Andre, and whoever else is involved, a certain percentage of the final project. And I’ll sell my share, this way then having money for hay.

I’m pretty excited about the prospect. Winter will soon be coming on, and I’ll need to stash the stuff someplace. This will most likely be a fall project. In the meantime, I have plenty of other stuff to keep me busy.

Today Pete and I went for a ride, with me riding Signy and Pete riding Siggi. The dogs and Hrimmi tagged along. Rainbow caught a mouse by Grizzly Camp, out thinking and out maneuvering Jenna, who had no idea where it went. We continued up the hill, and discovered a grouse and her offspring in mid-trail. We did a quick turnabout, and so Rainbow remained unaware of the birds.

Signy was feeling very good – she’s now moving along at a good clip, with Hrimmi moving equally fast. Hrimmi now has no problem crossing moving streams, and in fact, she stopped in a few and played in the water. She’s now begun to shed – I can pull tufts of soft, fluffy fur off her. She’s also grazing. And it appears as though she’s going to have her mother’s dark brown coloring.

Lastly, today we took Christopher to the airport. He’ll fly to Seattle, and from there go to Newark. And from there, fly home to South Carolina. It was difficult parting company because I have no idea when our paths will again cross, if ever. Now that I think of it, he’s my one and only college friend.

Next: 201. 06/27/12: A non-gardener’s Diary