Laying It Down

I finished mucking out the last of the barn stalls today, well ahead of my usual pace. It’s a nice job for a cool breezy day, rather than a hot muggy one.

We’re prepping for our summer gardens now, which we hope to be able to plant in a few weeks.

The bedding from the stalls, along with leaves, manure, kitchen scraps, grass clippings and just about anything else that rots, goes into our compost pile and, much later, onto our gardens.

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Our rapidly diminishing compost pile. Ain’t it purty?

Because we grew late fall crops in this garden (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.) the compost is going directly onto the tilled rows.

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We’ll be planting sweet corn and okra in this garden in a few weeks

Other gardens have cover crops growing on them. I spread the compost onto the cover crop and will till it all in (the cover crop is often called “green manure”) when the ground is a little drier.

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Green manure

There’s so much life in the compost, I feel guilty when I till it.

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Thanks to cover cropping and compost, we can maintain healthy well-nourished soil without having to use synthetic fertilizers.

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