Thursday, September 20, 2012

Motivation and Other Nutrients

I woke up with a headache this morning.  A sure sign of some sort of weather change.  Mac has just left for work and I have gone through the house turning off every single light that he feels the need to turn on.  Turned off the television.  Poured myself a cup of coffee, and it feels like the world has taken a minute to go, "Ahhhhhh"

Quiet.  Contentment.  The throbbing in my frontal lobes drops down in volume.

With any great luck, I will be digging fencepost holes again today.  Yesterday, only three were dug with posts placed and tamped back down.  Three more were measured out and started.  Not my most productive day.  Motivation has been a difficult commodity to come by.  I got out my oft read volume of Sylvia's Farm.  I usually save it for my winter read, but I need it now.  I need that reminder that it is all doable.  Sylvia did it and she did it to a great extent alone and without a drivers license.  At least, I have the truck.  I can get to town if I must.  I don't have any money once I get there, but what the hell... baby steps.

Come to think of it, almost all of the small, do it the hard way, farmers that I have read about had years when they wondered what the hell were they doing?  Why were they beating themselves up like this? And then the miraculous happens and the land unfolds for  them and shows all that is possible.

Last night, I read about Sylvia cleaning out her barn and getting some manure out on some bad pasture.  It wasn't much.  Between what was delivered and what her sheep donated, the pasture was coming back.  That speaks volumes to me.  I keep moving the chicken tractor around and the grass is a subdued patchwork.  It is especially evident after a rain.  Rectangles of dark green with the lighter greens surrounding them.  Several weeks ago, my good neighbor Dan brought down a scoop of composted cow manure.  We spread it out on a bad spot in my own pasture.  There have been several instances when I have gone down and visited.  I squat down and watch the patch of new soil, waiting for it's inevitable burst of new life.  Looking for the new green spears to erupt.  So far.... nothing.  But it did motivate me to get started with my manure tea project.  The 55 gallon barrel has had a hole cut in the top.  To get the hole exactly the way I wanted it, I inverted a plastic bucket and drew around it's rim.  Then drew a second line about a quarter of an inch inside the first circle, then cut out on the inside circle.  This way the bucket can sit in the hole without falling through.  Then I drilled a bunch of holes in the bucket.  After that I filled the barrel almost full with water.  Filled the bucket with manure.  Then set the bucket down in the barrel hole.  Finished filling the barrel with water by spraying the water over the manure.  It is basically a giant tea infuser.  After the manure has soaked for awhile it is dumped into the compost pile.  Then I add additional nutrients to the tea.  Epsom salts will be added.  Some fish emulsion.  Kelp if I can find it.  Lime as well. Can't forget the molasses.   Then the tea will get sprayed over the soil.  Well, it would if I had a sprayer.  I do not.  I will take an old coffee can and punch some holes and make it into a watering can.  Doing it as a ridiculously small job still gets more done then not doing anything at all

When I have all 55 gallons of the tea distributed, then we start again.  It will be a break from digging post holes.  It's all good.


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