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Here’s the Poop…

Yep, today is the day to spread the poop, or should I say horse manure. Here is one of the many piles of it, and it’s real close to our garden plot.

Here is one of the many horse manure piles at the garden club

Y’know, at first I naively believed it was from the buffalo herd on Fermilab property, the ones we pass daily on the way to the garden. But a colleague told Daniel it was from horses.

Dumping 3 wheelbarrows of manure for each marked plot

We had marked off paths and plots, the plots being 6′ x 17′ each, with paths in between. Those 6 piles took roughly 50 minutes to fill, haul & dump on our garden bed. At the far end, (under the hose) I’ve already raked in the manure evenly.

One last thing, it’s hard to see the fence, let alone the grapevines, (it’s in the foreground, closest to the camera) but I pruned off all the dead branches (and believe me, there were tons because this poor plant has been neglected for a few years)

I was a bit concerned with this news about horse manure and inquired further. The stables we obtain it finally responded with what I suspected. This horse manure is obtained from a horse stable in Carol Stream. This is considered organic compost, however I don’t know how because I discovered (through questioning the source) that they are fed GMOs, and given pharmaceuticals, though not routinely, (that are banned for human consumption) & vermicides when needed. If the hay the horses are fed isn’t a high quality, it contains lots of weed seeds. This manure is mixed with hay, which may also contain seeds. It’s not hot composted, which means it deposits thousands of viable weed seeds in our garden, making weeding an endless chore.

One of the things I absolutely love about it, though, is that it’s utterly teeming with lovely red worms! Well, some of it. The first bed we filled, we got from a part of the manure mound that didn’t have worms. I later discovered that vermicides can kill not only the worms, but also the lovely microbes that help our soil so much. This one bed, even though plants are growing (but one died early on), has hardly any worms compared to the other beds.

Needless to say, I dread using the manure and wish we could afford to bring in our own mulches. You know what they say, you get what you pay for. It’s not a wonder we get this manure for free. It costs extra to feed animals organically and hot compost the manure.

In this next picture, I’m trying to illustrate how much I cleaned up the grapevines, while at the same time, being amazed that our plot looked nearly as bad as the bordering area next to ours.

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After a long, fulfilling day, I was enjoying this beautiful sight. It’s nesting season, and just as I left the garden this morning, was treated to a beautiful view of the osprey nesting close by the farm, on Fermilab property. It’s protected wetlands. This is as close as we can get to the nesting birds. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera that could take a closer shot. The osprey is sitting on the edge of his nest. I tried to take a picture of him taking off (their wingspan is wonderfully huge), but missed it. This is located just down the road from the garden.

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I had to pass by the buffalo when driving home after working in the garden this morning. It’s hard to see, but one of the calves is laying down in the grass, behind the double post. These were the buffalo I thought the manure came from…

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