Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Degrees of B.S.

I earned my B.S. degree in fertilizer in the mid 90's, when I had my first "real" garden. I went to the home improvement center and bought composted steer manure in 1 cu.ft. bags for 69 cents each.

Then in the late nineties, I discovered that compost could be purchased by the yard, if one had a pickup truck to haul it in. I begged my home teacher for the use of his rusty old Chevy, and began work on my M.S. (More of Same) in Manure Management. Soon thereafter we acquired a trusty little Ford Ranger pickup truck, and I was happily hauling my own manure -- from local farmers and the county composting facility.

This year, I needed more than a couple of yards of compost. It was time to get serious. Monday afternoon I achieved my PhD (piled higher and deeper) in bovine excrement. I bought some compost--fifteen beautiful black yards of composted dairy manure. It was delivered in a big dump truck, and made a mountainous pile on the sidewalk.

For FHE, Tom was on lesson and I was on activity. Our lesson was about the value of family work, and the activity was shoveling manure. We had some wonderful family togetherness while we shoveled, wheelbarrowed, and generally spread crap all over the place. It was so sublime, at one point I got a tear in my eye. It's possible it could have been caused by my son's "accidentally" pitching a shovelful of manure at my head. I can't really be sure.

As the sun set and my happy worker dwarves (sarcasm here) skipped off to their reward of ice cream with 'chocolate' dust (I told you you should have washed your hands first!), I stood gazing at the still rather substantial pile -- we'd barely made a dent -- and worried aloud that someone might come by in the night and steal from my beloved manure mountain. I was actually considering setting up a tent to guard my black gold from marauding neighbors when my husband lovingly reminded me that few people place as much value in a pile of dung as I do.

And sure enough, this morning, it was all still there.


  1. I loved this. I loved the degrees. I loved you worrying about manure marauders. I loved the pictures. I almost felt covetous.

  2. I loved this!!! Great writing! I will think differently about manure and degrees for ever more! :)

  3. You were right...i started laughing. I LOVE YOU!!! you are a gift from heaven.

  4. Hey I love you, too, even if you make us shovel and spread decomposed cow poo all over the yard for family night.

  5. And it came to pass, that the family gathered together to discuss poo. And the oldest asked, "Mother, what doo you do? Knowest thou not that the pile of poo is offensive to thy neighbors?" And the mother replied, "My child, doo unto others as they would doo unto you." Father knelt and offered a prayer saying, "Bless our dung that it stinketh not unto us. May the manure manifest into delicious fruit." And the family delighted in their dung and went about spreading much joy.

  6. I enjoyed this very much. And kudos to Christine for a great creative comment.

  7. Christine, that was awesome. Definitely, there is a parable somewhere in that pile. Or a Hymn.

    "Scatter Sunshine all along your way..."

  8. That is the biggest pile of crap I have ever seen! ..... (referring to the pictures..... not the writing) LOL!

    Loved it !