Moving crap

I do not mean the title to this post euphemistically.

Today, I experienced another first at Innisfree Farm: shoveling a winter’s worth of cow droppings out of the barn in anticipation of separating out calves for market and send the bull to his summer home on another farm. Fortunately for you, I did not have my camera.

Fortunately for me, I am working on a farm in 2009 and not earlier, because I very much enjoyed the luxuries of a four-wheel-drive tractor with a front-end loader and a respirator. Some things I noted as I worked today:

  • The Kubota L430 is an amazing piece of equipment, but it needs a bucket about three times as big. Let’s just say there was a lot of crap…
  • I do not have the finesse to get the bucket the Kubota does have into all of the nooks and crannies of the cow feeding area.
  • The learning curve for a new task on the farm always seems to involve hitting something just hard enough to break it without destroying it. I’m gaining the important secondary skills of construction foreman and handyman along the way.
  • Grass-fed cow crap turns into some of the most amazing and fertile soil on the planet (it also produces, as I understand it, a fraction of the methane produced by crap from corn fed cows). The pile from an earlier cleaning effort is ready to mulch a garden, or in this case, a pasture.
  • Riding on a tractor for a few hours is surprisingly intensive work.

That is all.


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4 Responses to Moving crap

  1. Seagull says:

    Hey, this is really cool. For some reason, I think farming suits you (and that’s not a comment related to the crap in this post). šŸ™‚

    Loved the third bullet, by the way. That seems to be the way of things when you’re learning to use heavy machinery on the job. At least you’re building a robust skill set, eh?

  2. dlhitzeman says:

    I am often surprised at how well I have taken to farm work, but I do enjoy it and the challenge it presents. I think what underlies that enjoyment is two factors: first, that there is a clear connection between the work and the results, and, second, that there is a clear connection between the work done and increased personal independence.

  3. djhitz says:

    Hey, DL. If only, I get a load of that crap.

  4. djhitz says:

    “Oops!” Editing error. What I meant to say was. Thanks for sharing that crap, DL. Too bad you can’t share a load of your crap with me? It’d be fun to go to Ohio and ship up some of your crap to Indiana. After all, it’s been being done for centuries. Just ask the Scott’s people in Marysville.

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