Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Homegrown - Paying for poop seems so wrong

Our family has been in the wars this past week, with a vomiting bug taking us out one by one. It's fair to say I am shattered. Which is why I'm glad I did some work on the garden before any of us got sick.

Last Monday was a hard day. S wasn't settling and L was grizzly, so I chucked both girls in the car and we went to the garden centre. (S fell asleep about one minute into the drive.)

At the garden centre I bought a bag of sheep pellets and a bag of blood and bone. It felt wrong paying for poop somehow. I'm sure there are people out there with plenty they'd be happy to give away, if only I knew where to find them. I'm still inspired by the images of Xanthe White and her son collecting cow dung from One Tree Hill in her book, Organic Vegetable Gardening.

The bags I bought sat on our patio for a few days, until I had a spare 10 minutes when both girls were sleeping. (As in at the same time. Incredible.) I rushed out to the backyard and frantically dug sheep pellets into the three gardens back there.

It wasn't much work, but I feel better for having it done. Now my gardens can just sit and rot down until spring planting.

I've never used blood and bone before, but after reading the back of the bag I've decided to leave it be until just before planting time, when I'll use it to give my seedlings a quick boost.

How are you gardens faring?


  1. yeah, it does seem wrong! I wish you could find a farmer that would sell it to you cheap (or free). When I lived in Wgtn as a kid I remember mum used to take the station wagon to the chicken farm and pick up a big load of poo, I wonder if that chicken farm is still there! I will have to ask her where it was, I'm terribel with Wgtn suburbs now.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that I spent several hours on Saturday picking up free moo poo in our paddocks. You wouldn't believe the weight of a wheelbarrow full of poo, and I have to push it UP hill to get to the garden. I was sore the next day, but it was worth it to have 2 barrow-loads to spread around the garden and fill up my compost bins.

    Sometimes picking up the poo is more to clean the paddock than for the garden and I find I don't know what to do with it all! So I'm sure there are other people in the same situation and you must be able to find a source somewhere. Good luck and happy gardening!

  2. That sounds like a big job Liz! Good on you for doing it. If you do find out where the chicken farmer is, please let me know. Cheers!

  3. Hi Emma, I asked mum about the chicken "farm" but she said it had closed, so no manure there for you, maybe a country drive is required. However, as you as close to the sea, one of my rellies in wgtn said they go down to the Hataitai bay and gather seaweed, which is supposed to be great for the garden (maybe you can push your wheel-barrow down there on your next run :)), although they weren't sure if it was exactly legal! Cheers, Liz

  4. That's a shame about the chicken farm. I grabbed some seaweed from Island Bay when we first moved here, before discovering it's a nature reserve - so illegal!

    Anywhere north of Lyall Bay is fine, so I've got a bit from there too. Might have to go for another trip out there soon!


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