It’s the giving season, so I was reflecting back on all I gave and received this year. In America, the size of stuff matters, so let’s talk about big stuff! Forget the little boxes with glitter and shine, even the biggest box under the Christmas tree can’t compare. I’m quite sure I got a bigger gift than most of you this year. I’m talking tonnage. My friend Mike gave it to me, and he even let me use his truck to bring it home. Mike’s companion, Walter help make it. Mike and Walter have had a good relationship for many years. Every day, rain or shine, Mike provides food and drink for Walter and his clan. Occasionally Walter allows Mike to jump on his back and scratch his ears. Walter, king of his domain, is a large Black Angus bull with a very mild disposition. He and his clan gratefully accept the hay and grain Mike provides and in return produce a copious pile of manure.
It’s part of the grand bargain, the circle of fertility that returns to the earth what we take from it to nourish ourselves. This gift of fertility is indeed a big one. It’s the foundation for everything that comes from my garden. The seeds, vegetables, and garden meals that are often my gifts for friends and neighbors all require the fertility that comes from Mike’s manure pile.
The weather was nice enough yesterday that I got outside for a while, pulled up the old amaranth, and hauled a wheelbarrow of manure over to that patch of ground. My pile is getting smaller, but there should be enough to give the ground a good perking up next spring. There is never too much fertility!
Happy Holidays to all my loyal blog readers, and may the coming season be a fertile one!