……*black* gold, that is. Our compost piles have needed manure. My dad still marvels at the heat produced by the compost pile in our backyard when I was a child. He says it’s the horse manure he used to mix in there.
He’d put a couple cardboard boxes in the back of mom’s station wagon, drive to the horse stables near our house, and shovel them full of horse poop. I only went with him once because I saw a girl there from my school riding her gorgeous Arabian around the ring; I was riding along in the 1978 Chrysler station wagon picking up horse manure.
I can do stuff like that now with my boys because they’re toddlers and their parental embarrassment gene hasn’t switched on yet.
I felt like I was repeating family history today. Toddlers in tow, I drove to my friend Anne’s house a few blocks away in our Honda Odyssey (can’t bring myself to say “van”) and picked up a couple big bags of chicken manure:
As thanks, I gave her a bag of greens and spinach I’d picked this morning.
Anne has four Rhode Island Reds in her Asheville yard, a block or so from the university. The hens have a cool pyramid-shaped coop built by her son-in-law (who also happens to be my MyGyver-esque, engineer next-door neighbor.)
Anne raised these girls from chicks. They are so healthy and happy, averaging an egg a day each:
Here’s my younger boy feeding the hens some grapes.
I can tell Anne loves these hens, and also loves teaching kids about them (her grandkids love them too!)
Anne is currently re-doing her chicken “run” so they can get out and roam and scratch safely. Even with that, a small flock like hers doesn’t require a whole lot of yard room, and they do just fine living among us in the city limits. There’s a fair amount of Asheville city chickens around– check out Asheville City Chickens on Facebook: or http://www.urbanchickens.net/
Oh, and the chicken manure is now in my compost tumbler….thanks Anne!