This afternoon I pulled off my boots and poured out a rich cow poo tea that had brewed nicely after a day in the wet. Yesterday I started a rather ambitious gardening project – collecting several cubic metres of cow pats armed only with a wheel barrow and gloves.
It was great while it was sunny – how happy I am in this little (very homemade) vid:
Today it rained steadily and I thought I must continue. When you’re down in the back paddock and you’ve got manure dribbling into your boots you know you’re doing some good honest work. I could have worn one of my three pairs of gumboots or at least rolled down my trouser legs…
Or I could have done it the sensible way and brought some cows into the area I intend to put my vegetable beds. But the fencing is poor and the herd would have wandered into the building site. I could have sorted the fencing and put chickens in there and let them prepare the soil but I haven’t been organised enough for that.
So I decided to go and fetch.
Very slow on my own, but it’s a great way to comb slowly over the land and get to know it. I am now a connoisseur of the cow pat – I know from metres away how easy the thing will be to pick up, how heavy it will be, the consistency. I know what happens when you misjudge a throw and get the dog. A good time was had by all (except for Belle on the left – still peeved.)
So the plan is to pile the cow manure on the grass, take up Pep’s offer of a tractor-powered hoe, then dig in some other organic goodies, lay thick mulch over and let it rest for a month while the worms get busy. By then I’ll know what I want to plant. And in the meantime I’ll go collect sandstone from the land to edge the beds.
An update on my precious garlic is due. I planted it about four weeks ago and on advice left it unprotected. Cockies, rabbits and kangaroos find it unpalatable apparently. Or not! A few days ago I went to visit it and found half the healthy shoots chomped. I blame the guard.
I threw some chicken wire over it and hope the nibbled shoots grow back. I can see that pest protection will be high on the agenda in future gardening endeavours.
So, the view after the work of the past two days. The fallen tree will need to be chopped up for firewood (it toppled in the wind a few months ago.) I think I’ll do four more beds tomorrow to make it ten total. Should be enough to get me started.
And after such hard labour I made cookies to congratulate myself. Sultana butterscotch – yum.