December 31, 2011


Not the kind you have for dinner. This is the kind that develops in the sheep stall as we put down a layer of straw then the sheep go to the bathroom on it and sleep on it and mat it down. So we put another layer of straw down, which they promptly soil up. And another layer of straw goes down. And so on and so on. Until we have a good straw-poo-pee lasagna built up. Next comes the difficult task of mucking the lasagna from the stall to the garden to feed all the worms and bacteria and get ready for plants in the spring. Today we did that lovely task.

Jeremy pitch-forking and shoveling. Me hauling and dumping in the garden and coming back for more. We had two wheelbarrows going so he was filling while I was running. It took roughly 2 1/2 hours to go from a foot thick of damp, stinky lasagna to find the dirt ground below. 61 wheelbarrow loads in total. Then another 1/2 hour to spread the goods out. It covered about 2/3's of the garden. The final 1/3 will get the compost put on it, but that will have to wait for another day when I am able to move my arms again.

I am proud that through this process, done every winter, we have grown the soil in the garden up by about 4 inches in the past 6 years. The results are easy to see when the soil is tilled up - dark, crumbly and full of worms. And we reap the benefits, literally, in the summer and fall as we harvest fruits and veggies.

For now though, I'm exhausted and dirty. I think I'll take a shower and nap. Here are before [Jeremy with his foot where the feed trough was partially buried] and after pictures of the stall, plus a picture of the lower 1/3 of the garden with mounds of lasagna waiting to be raked in.

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