Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Power of the Poo

My Aunt Jill in the UK is one of those natural-born gardeners with acres of gorgeous flowers in a truly British country garden. She swears by the power of the poo for the success of a garden. They have horses and she says that the key to a successful garden is fertilizing your garden with the appropriate poo. She swears by horse manure since she's got it on-hand all the time and told me that I need to focus on acquiring some poo for my sad little garden plot. She told me that old poo is golden and new poo is not. So I needed to search out old poo - black gold.

It turns out that we have a friend with three horses and a large manure pile on one of their back fields. Farmer B bought a garbage can just for poo storage purposes and we drove over there the other day to fill our can. The pile of poo was large and the horse owner told us to dig down because about 3-feet down the deep old poo had turned to black gold.

Because this is the sort of luck we have, we chose the one day that a huge storm front was coming through. The sky was black and looked like it did in Twister right before cows started flying. The boys were in the car crying because they wanted to get out and gaze at the mound of poo. But large drops of rain were starting to fall, the sky was dark, the wind was howling and blowing so hard that you had to brace yourself to stand up…and taking two boys out of their car seats to stand on a mound of poo didn't seem like the right choice. Especially since strapping them back into their carseats while they're covered in poo in the pouring rain seemed like an even worse choice.

So there we stood on a huge poo pile in a big storm with crying boys in the car, frantically digging up fresh poo to get to the dark, black old poo from the bottom of the mound. We're chucking it into the can as fast as we can…poo flying, rain starting, wind blowing...and I told Farmer B that I felt like we were in a grave-robbing scene from a horror movie.

We got the huge can in the car just in time. We jumped in the car and realized four very important things:

1) Never shovel poo in a major storm
2) Always bring a bungee cord to make sure the lid doesn't fall off in the car.
3) Always bring spare shoes
4) Always bring newspaper to lay down the poo-covered shovel in your car.

We now have a trash can of poo ready for spreading on our garden. As you can imagine the boys are itching to help with this project. So is the damn dog. It's on our to-doo list for this week.


Kelly said...

Thanks for the chuckle, I think you could do stand-up.

Jonah Lisa said...

And the pictures of this escapade are where?

So many good posts lately. Love this. You can also water with diluted pee. The nutrients are supposed to do wonders. I'll dig up the post I read n this if I can find it.

Kate and Crew said...


Are you kidding me?

Rain + poo = homebound SLR camera.

And how does one harvest this pee? Does this involve a bucket on the end of a stick and some poor schmuck following a horse around all day?

Kathryn said...

Hi, Kate. First off, I'd like to thank you for visiting my blog at Mad Beach Maven and leaving a comment. Glad you enjoyed it! I am wondering about diluted pee as well - sounds interesting. Love your site, always interesting and amusing. K (aka Mad Beach Maven)

Kelly said...

She might mean people pee, folks here and abroad use this method. There was quite an entertaining and educational post on the subject at seedsavers dot com.

engineeredgarden said...

Kate, great post! It was funny!!!! About the pee....They are talking about human urine, not animal. It's used in a compost pile, not straight into the garden. :-)
Of all the various organic fertilizers, human urine has the highest nitrogen of all of them. It's got something like 3 times as much as horse manure.


Kate and Crew said...

Holy crap you guys - human pee?




EG - fess up, are you sprinkling your compost piles when no one's looking? LOL

Does anyone know someone who's really peed on their garden or compost pile?

I think Farmer B would stroke out if he read this. LOL. Wow. Will have to look into this for sure.

James A-S said...

Peeing on the compost heap is very organic: male pee is better than female. It is also, if we are honest, considerably easier to deliver to the heap!
Any poo will do: I wrote a poo piece the other day here ( if you are interested in furthering your research (although the comments get a bit weird).

Jonah Lisa said...

Yep, human pee. Diluted. But human pee nonetheless. Straight pee is no good--too strong--and wil kill stuff. Diluted pee is supposedly very good for your garden.

Can't figure out where I read it though. Google it.

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