Sunday, May 11, 2008

It Takes a Village to Raise a Garden

Since I began urban farming, I have become intimately acquainted with poops.

Cookiecrumb advised me that chicken poop would grow great veggies and Moonbear had some as a by-product of her egg-laying chickens, so I was in business, so to speak. However, I learned that the chicken poop I retrieved from Moonbear's idyllic back yard is too new, too "hot" to put straight onto the garden, being this year's "issue." So, I have started a compost pile with the contents of the big bag the hens contributed, some soil and vermiculite knocked out of pots of flowers I have saved, and the yard waste from my latest biomass reduction foray into the garden.

That's fun, but it didn't solve the need for some kind of fertilizer for the growing things so I took Dagny's advice to visit Annie's Annuals in search of plant food. They were closed on the Monday I chose to go so, undeterred, I went to my favorite haunt, Pastime Hardware in El Cerrito and, lo and behold, they had poop, but theirs was bat poop, nicely aged and attractively packaged with assurances as to its potency and organic nature.

It has taken, so far, four adult college graduates to get this tiny garden going and I'm pretty sure I'd save money by simply buying ripe tomatoes when they come in season but what a great bonding experience for four diverse bloggers and what an education I have received in the nutritive value of poops!

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Blogger Kitt said...

Ha! At first I thought you were going to talk about the poops of passing dogs and wandering cats! That's another poop issue urban gardeners have to deal with, and much less pleasant.

One thing I have done in tha past is make "manure tea." Suspend a fabric sack (burlap bag, pillowcase) of aged manure in a plastic garbage can full of water, then use the water (diluted) to fertilize the garden once a week.

Sunday, May 11, 2008  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Yours in doo-doo solidarity, Zoomie! Good work.
I'm impressed with your composting. My pile (which we hardly ever tend, but do consistently add to) is just steaming along! This afternoon Cranky will probably have some contributions from our biomass reduction foray (lawn clippings), as well.
One's own tomatoes are always better than store-bought, and I don't just mean that in a warm, fuzzy way. Also, with luck, sun, and proper poop, they'll probably be cheaper, too.

Sunday, May 11, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kitt, my chicken poop will probably be ready for the manure tea by next year. Maybe I'll do what you suggest with the bat poop this year.

Cookiecrumb, I haven't started composting the household waste yet but that's next!

Sunday, May 11, 2008  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

Don't forget worm poo - most excellent stuff!

Sunday, May 11, 2008  
Blogger Anna Haight said...

Oh no, don't tell me I'll be up to poo as I advance in gardening! So far the tomato plant is still alive and getting taller. Looking forward to following the progress of your garden.

Sunday, May 11, 2008  
Blogger Dagny said...

Nothing like some bat guano. And Pastime totally rocks. I have loved that place since I was a kid. As for Annie's, I usually went on weekends.

Sunday, May 11, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Morgan, really? Really?? Worm poo?? What next?!

Anna, it's inevitable. Embrace the poop!

Dagny, thanks for the bat guano endorsement - the veggies certainly are growing!

Monday, May 12, 2008  

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