March 31, 2011


I started my spring ritual, adding aged horse manure to the gardens today. I wanted to see how much I could get done before it snowed. Yes, snow! 

I dream of owning a tractor someday, but for now it's five gallon buckets, a shovel, a pitchfork, the golf cart and ME, back and forth from the pile to the gardens.

This particular pile has been composting more than a year. It is well over four feet high, the minimum height a pile should be, to generate enough heat to decompose properly.
The pile is too big to turn by hand so it just decomposes on the spot over time. It has clumps here and there, and that's why it's called aged manure vs. composted manure. While it  still composts, it isn't turned over and over again like composted manure which dissolves into small particles. 
Some people don't like the looks of the clumps. But they are easily broken up with a shovel or rake, and if you bring them  to your nose it smells just like earth...glorious earth.
And boy, does it makes the garden grow. It IS garden gold!
 I filled up the buckets and dumped the aged manure in the front gardens, filled with flowers, herbs, strawberries and shrubs.
Did I mention I had some helpers
They are very good at spreading it all around.

We also have the manure from the chickens, ducks and rabbits that we keep in smaller compost piles and add to all our gardens. It's the best fertilizer.
                     Do you have garden gold? 

                                       happy day!

Linked to Farm Girl/Farm Friend Friday blog hop hosted by Verde Farm and Deborah Jean's Dandelion House


S. Etole said...

My mother always use to refer to it as barnyard gold. It does work wonders.

michelle and murph said...

We toss our maure over the side of a hill and let it sit for a year...It comes out black gold! Filling new raised beds and planting trees this year!

W-S Wanderings said...

That first photo has got to be THE prettiest photo of a manure pile that I've ever seen. Those trunks in the background. The wealth of manure. Lovely!

I too have tractor dreams...

Unschoolers Rock the Campground said...

We don't, but I wish we did!

marcia said...

Jean.. if you ever need some, we have plenty to share :)

happy day!

Unknown said...

Love your little mountain of Garden Gold! As you know, we have our chicken compost to spread over our gardens, but I only got as far as raking before the snow came! Oh well, soon!
Great entry and as always, informative!

Old Time Cindy said...

We don't have any...I envy your pile!


Unknown said...

I just got to spread a bunch of that gold around and mix it with decomposing alfalfa! It's awesome! Gonna plant potatoes and peas in it! Enjoy your gold!

Leontien said...

Your experts look like awesome helpers! haha

and your garden looks good and you can borrow one of our tractors if needed!


Lynn said...

I have to BUY my garden gold-happy planting:@)

Verde Farm said...

How wonderful. It is garden gold for sure. We have some donkey and chicken gold. I need to get some on my gardens soon :)

Teresa said...

I just cleaned the chicken coop out and piled to start aging, but my geese decided to help spread it around already, so I need to make some adjustments!

jerilanders said...

Indeed we do have Black Gold.. it is also called goat/ sheep/ donkey/chicken poop mixed with a little bit of this and that. I have been using it all week and WISH I had a tractor too!

Peggy said...

I have lots of manure I need to compost but wasn't sure how since I don't have a tractor to turn either. Thanks for the tip!

Oak Creek Ranch said...

I'm glad you found my blog and that I found yours! We compost our horse manure - we have a tractor so it gets turned. It is black gold for sure! We have a series of big bin areas and they just get turned down the row - when they reach the end, they're done.

Bonnie K said...

Oh my gosh! The last photo of your chicken helper is a hoot. I can just see her little feet a going! Great blog. I agree with Michelle that is the prettiest photo of a manure pile!

gtyyup said...

Thanks for the visit!

Lovely gardens...yes, that "gold" is magic!

Valarie said...

I do have garden gold. I've been out doing the "big dig" as well this week. Our weathers been cold but sunny. I'm really ready for some warmer weather. What about you?