Updated: Mar 24, 2020
Spring is fast approaching and yet with everything going on around the world, it can be hard to see the joy but I encourage you to start each morning with gratitude. We have so many things to be thankful for! Even though work activities have been canceled for the next four weeks; I am thankful for the temporary flexibility in my schedule to check the bred cows, I am thankful for the added time spent with friends and family, and I am thankful for a job that allows me to work from home.
As I sit here watching the news and learning the latest on the COVID-19 virus, I daydream about the days when this has passed and we gather again for celebrations, business activities, education opportunities, etc.
Spring will not be canceled and life on the farm continues.
Manure is a great source of natural fertilizer. It helps replace the nutrients lost from the soil with the previous crop. Recycling the manure is a sustainable way to clean up the farm after winter. Soon the manure will be applied to the corn fields but before dad hauls it all away, I asked him to leave a little for my flowers!
It is important to compost the manure before tilling it into the garden. Composting the manure to 120*F will kill weed seeds and any potential foliage diseases. Composting also breaks down the ammonia and keeps it from burning plant roots.
To compost, we mixed together equal parts manure (Nitrogen) and cornstalks (Carbon) but after checking the pile today, we need to add more manure. Keeping the compost moist is also important. According to North Dakota State University ,"The microorganisms that transform manure into compost require oxygen for their energy-deriving chemical reactions." We will keep oxygen in the pile by turning it! This process can take a few months. We probably won't be able to use if for the 2020 season but by 2021 we should have a very decomposed pile! In the future I plan to add leaves, harvested flower plants, and other biodegradable materials.
Composting isn't the only thing keeping us busy on the farm! We have two calves so far and our seed trays are sprouting! Oh... and Diesel LOVES, LOVES, LOVES the farm and is having a blast being a cow pup!