(You might think, due to the title of this post and the content of my last post, that I like to write about poop. By the time you’re through reading this, you’ll know if that’s true or not.)
I had a rare Saturday off a couple weekends ago, and it was family time. Usually, I’m teaching classes both Saturday and Sunday mornings, so The Animal Whisperer and the boys have their male bonding time.
But, that Saturday, it was family time. And, what to do on a day packed with nothing to do??? Many families might go to the park, go to a movie, go on a bike ride, or do something else special with the kids.
But, we are not many families. We farm in the city. We raise city goats. We don’t have cable. We are weird. We do things like:
Get Alpaca Poop.
Now, there’s some serious family bonding associated with getting Alpaca Poop. Seriously.
You don’t think I’m serious? Well, I am.
A little history first: The Animal Whisperer is building raised (garden) bed after raised bed and filling them with barn bedding and goat/chicken/rabbit poop, but we’ve used it all up. So, instead of waiting for the animals’ gastrointestinal systems to pump out more garden magic, in desperation, I called Tracy. She and her husband, AJ, own Darkest Peru Alpacas in Black Forest, Colorado.
“Any chance we can come get some alpaca poop?……Today?”
And, she, despite having lots of other things to do, I’m sure, said yes!
So, after milking, eating breakfast, dressing warmly and packing snacks, we loaded in the truck and drove 40 minutes to their alpaca farm. AJ and Tracy have taken The Goat Cheese Making Class and the Soap and Lotion Making Class from me, and so I knew all about their alpacas. And, according to many gardeners (including gardening guru Larry Stebbins), Alpaca poop is the next best thing for amending your soil.
I’m not sure why.
But, as most people know around here, you should do what Larry Stebbins says. He knows everything about gardening in Colorado Springs.
But, to add an opinion to that, I think whatever farm animal manure you have in your barn is the BEST thing to use…because you don’t have to drive anywhere to get it. And, the next best kind of manure to get is from someone who will give it to you. And a whole bunch of it. (And from healthy animals.)
So, on family day, we took off to Tracy and AJ’s with the huge flat-bed trailer squirrely tailing all the way to their place. After some rather exceptional needle threading (by your’s truly) by backing the trailer in between the poop pile and a chain link fence, we loaded it, The Animal Whisperer and Me, with two pitchforks, as full as we could and still safely get it covered with a tarp to haul it home.
And, when we did get it home, I lost count at around 67 as to how many wheelbarrows full there were.
And, just to clear things up, I do love poop. Not just any kind though. Human, dog and cat poop do not qualify in my love of poop affair. I love the manure kind. The kind that comes out of the back end of a cow, horse, goat, chicken, rabbit, alpaca, and just about any other kind of farm animal. The kind that breaks down into all kinds of life giving material for my garden.
Yes, before you think it, you might think, but horse manure has lots of seeds in it. Or, rabbit manure is too hot. Or, or, or…. But, I harken back to what I said before. Whatever kind of poop you have access to, that’s the best kind. If I had enough, I’d spread it all over every stitch of ground we own.
(Watch out, Tracy and AJ, that means I may be calling you back.)
Thanks again for the load of delicious garden nutrients, I’m sure it will grow lots of beautiful tomatoes, carrots, pumpkins and everything else we grow this year!
- The Goat Cheese Lady
P.S. Tracy sells alpaca wool. I put my hand in this box of wool and did not want to take it out. The stuff is SOOO soft!!!!