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A city girl goes country – You bought WHAT?

Friday, April 26, 2013

This is part 2 as I document our efforts to raise our own food.

In my first installment I mentioned that our soil is hard and not fertile so perhaps I should have expected a solution from my engineer DH as he seeks to be an organic gardener.

We’re surrounded by farms. I see piles of essentially the same stuff in every field. Can’t we get it free? Perhaps, but I would have to visit the farmer and shovel it myself. Shovel it into what? Even if I find suitable containers, then what? Put them in my car? We don’t drive a pickup. I don’t even like the smell when transporting my garbage to the dump (no trash pickup out here).

Speaking of smell, I’m now saving my kitchen garbage (egg shells, banana skins, potato peelings etc) and depositing them in a container on the deck.

The plan is to dump the contents periodically into this compost bin

DH made it following directions in “Organic Gardening.”
Right now it’s holding tree debris from our last storm.

Layering kitchen waste with yard waste is supposed to decompose into fertilizer for the garden. I’m not sure how long this is supposed to take.

So back to the immediate solution of manure. This certainly falls into the category of things I never expected to pay for.

I suppose it’s kind of like bottled water. I’m paying for the convenience. The water is my alternative to a bottle of some sugary drink when out and about. The manure is my alternative to commercial fertilizer or waiting for natural decomposition.

OK, we now own 240 lbs of manure. As long as I’m not the one to spread it around, I won’t even ask how much it cost.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My daughter, the chef, has decided to grow her own veggies and make her own compost. My living room is filled with trays of sprouted seedlings. My freezer has bags of kitchen scraps waiting to be composted. Last weekend we assembled dual plastic compost bins that spin for aeration. She even has me saving my coffee grounds separately for certain plants. When it all gets a little frustrating or messy, I think "harvest time" and smile all the way to the backyard.

    Good luck with your adventures. Please keep us posted with your progress.
    1817 days ago
    You are so funny! I'm glad you didn't try the fresh manure - it probably have killed your plants if used directly. You have to compost it first for it to be effective. Speaking of compost, I am somewhat of an expert if you ever want to email me a question. You should fill your compost bins with a combination of grass clippings and leaves. If you don't get an occasional rain, you should wet it every week or so. Dig a hole in it to put your vegetable scraps and then cover it (so the critters and insects don't have a "field day"). You should also use a pitchfork to "turn" your compost every few weeks so it degrades evenly. I don't have to do this step as I bought some "composting worms" several years ago. They live in the compost pile and eat everything in the pile! They work so fast that it is amazing! Vegetable scraps are gone within a week! Good luck with your efforts!
    1818 days ago
    1818 days ago
    That's a load! More power to you for growing a garden. I do very small scale gardening, a few veggie plants and tons of basil. :D
    1818 days ago
    Good for you... I've been kitchen composting for years - actually thought Rachael Ray's Garbage bowl was for that! emoticon

    Last year my daughter bought me a counter collector from Bed, Bath and Beyond - It looks much nicer than the bowl I was using! It uses composite bags that I found at walmart...

    Have fun... I don't get alot of dirt, but at least it's not going in the landfill ~ Patty emoticon
    1818 days ago
  • LEWILL1982
    Laughing out loud, too funny! Good luck with composting and gardening. I had herbs in pots on my patio (I live in a condo) and couldn't keep them alive. I wish you all the best. emoticon
    1818 days ago
    Words escape me, which is probably good thing right now. emoticon emoticon
    1819 days ago
    The farm down the street from us sells llama poo!
    1819 days ago
  • DR1939
    1819 days ago
    ha ha ha - thanks so much for the laugh today. Wishing you the best in your gardening endeavours!!

    1819 days ago
  • PATTYR81
    You are soooooo funny!!!

    I also had a *moment* when my dh bought a load of landscaping rocks.

    Pay for ROCKS???
    1819 days ago
    Talk to Janice at church. She give away manure. You can even specify which kind of animal. You can always borrow our pickup, too. We'll share a load.
    1819 days ago
    Oh hey, my big contribution to my neighborhood in a tiny town in Liberia (West Africa) was to use "chicken poo poo" to fertilize a garden.

    Whatever works!
    1819 days ago
    Hilarious -- paying for "that"! I remember my father racing out after the milkman's horse to enrich his rose bed . . . . gotta say, and although we recycle religiously and have a garden waste compost heap, I'm pretty rebellious about composting kitchen scraps etc. I've seen too many big fat rats who are delighted with kitchen compost!!
    1819 days ago
    Green acres is the place to be - farm living is the life for me - Fresh air - Times square emoticon Good bye city life
    1819 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Too funny about 240 pounds of manure. Your husband gets enthusiastic. I have no idea how much to spread around and leave to my husband. Good luck on the compost.

    Something has got to grow with all of that manure!!!!
    1819 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/26/2013 8:14:51 AM
    Compost happens!

    1819 days ago
    When you visit a farmer, he will not be giving you "fresh", which smells atrocious. You need to ask for manure that is dry and loose. It will have some smell but not enough to stink up the car trunk. Usually we use manure that has been setting for 2-6 months and is totally dry. Ask the farmer and he should be able to get you what you need.
    1819 days ago
    Have you looked into worms? (not kidding)
    1819 days ago
    1819 days ago
    emoticon Buying poo was not something I ever thought I would do either lol.

    With my compost bin, if I left it alone it would take about a 1-3 years to completely turn to compost. If you keep it damp & turn it every so often the process goes faster. It really depends on what types of materials you have in there (i.e. tree branches take longer to decompose than lettuce leaves) and how much heat you can generate.

    If you save your eggshells separately you can crush them and then put them on the ground around any veggies that slugs & snails love, like cabbages; the shells keep them away & you have the bonus of them decomposing right into the ground.

    My ground in SE Michigan is clay so I built raised beds instead and filled them with bagged soil that already had the compost mixed in. Yes, I cheated. Much easier than mucking about trying to improve the clay.
    1819 days ago
    LOL I love your last line!! Tell your hubby to have fun!

    My dad has about 8 garbage bags of the stuff he got for free from my neighbor across the's just sitting there and getting ripe, just waiting to be spread...I told him to get the lead out before he has a methane explosion on his hands! LOL

    Some places actually will put some out in bags on the side of the road for free...ask the farmers if they ever do that and what time they put it out... they might do it, but it's gone before you ever knew about it! And since it is bagged, it doesn't smell that puts it in the back of his Corolla! It's only for a short time too. emoticon
    1819 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/26/2013 7:19:21 AM
  • 81MSMITH1
    Take it from a country girl -- food tastes better when you know you grew it yourself.
    1819 days ago
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