There are times on my urban farm journey where I don't recognize myself. Slicing jalepenos to add them to almost every dish? Breaking my back using an ax to take out a stump? Opening a bee hive and studying the comb? These are all things I didn't do two years ago. Sometimes I say to myself, who ARE you?
Today, the answer to that question was quite clear: "Oh, you're THAT lady. The weird one."
This morning I took Joe into a part of the open space near our house, and I saw that the cattle were back. Seasonally, some farmer who has some contract with the city brings his steers here to graze; we see them every year. I like seeing them, though I think after the cattle leave, someone should bring goats in, because the cows don't eat the thistle, and it's taking over. But I digress.
As I was walking Joe, I noticed very many fresh piles of manure. "Hm," I said to myself. "I wonder if I could bring the wheelbarrow up here?"
So that's precisely what I did this afternoon. Except, the wheelbarrow wouldn't fit in the back of the Honda, so instead I brought two garden Trugs
(I use these for nearly everything, they are worth every penny) and my trusty shovel. And Joe. Who basically sat himself under a tree far, far away from me, as if even he was embarrassed by my behavior.
I filled up the trugs, hoping no hapless hiker would come by, and rehearsing my explanations just in case. The cows hung out in a shady thicket near the nearly-dry pond. Three turkeys with a rafter of chicks strolled by, probably themselves eating bugs from the patties. A darkling beetle
eyed me warily, probably pissed I was taking something from him. I wondered what a ranger might say to me? Was I removing precious resources from the open space? My two small buckets surely wouldn't count for much, surely there were plenty of 'resources' left to improve the soil and feed native wildlife.
None of my internal arguments mattered; no one came by to question my actions. I put the buckets in the car and got outta dodge, feeling slightly criminal.
I upended the buckets in my compost - hopefully it'll speed up the decomposition of the pile of straw there. Then I washed my hands real, real good.
|This patty was the size of a small dog|
|You can't see them, but the cows are chilling in this thicket of willows|
|Hard to see, but three turkeys and their babies were checking me out|
|My haul. The poo looks dry, but when broken, was nice and fresh inside|
|break down that straw!|