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October 5, 2013: Hi Ho the Derry-o, a Composting we Will Go

Last Tuesday, as we pulled into the driveway, I saw what we’d left behind in our haste to get out of dodge. Most notably, 15 or so five gallon buckets, which were then filled with fresh manure. In our absence it rained, so when we got back, these buckets were filled with old manure and scummy water.

Perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. But I didn’t drain the water off the top because I figured I might later add it to the future, dry manure, hay, and yard greens.

Our remaining five-gallon buckets were scattered about the property. Gathering them up was like being on an Easter egg hunt. I found them on and under the

porch, in the hoop house, and in piles of weeds. I think that many were put to use during the drought. Some plants got watered.

I had hoped to sell the compost, but I decided this is going to have to wait. Instead, Pete called our friend Andre and offered the material to him. He accepted our offer, and today he came to haul away what he could. Pete fired up the tractor, and I got in the trailer and with shovel in hand, I moved what I could to the rear, so he could get more in there. What most amazed me were the worms. Last spring, I dumped the red wrigglers that had previously been in the kitchen, into the two stalls, putting a bucketful in each. I figured that the heat in the cooking piles would kill them. It was instead an ideal breeding ground. I could not believe how many there were. Hundreds. Thousands. Millions.

“Good stuff,” I said to Andre, who agreed with me. As Pete dumped the loads in the bed, Andre and I got caught up on neighborhood dirt. It then occurred to me that the communal sharing of shit is what farming is all about.

Andre left shortly after the trailer was filled. Least you think that this was it – there is still plenty more to be done at compost central. Andre will come and get yet another load tomorrow. And after, I will put the waste that has accumulated since last summer in the cleaned out station. Have to get going on this, because more is on the way. Yes, shit continues to happen.

Next: 194: 10/5/13: Tinni’s Return