Indeed, for our Tending Day on Sunday we hauled a hefty load of manure to the garden.
This is how it went:
Lucas organised the pick up of goodies from the Mounted Police stables, in Crown St, Surry Hills, and luckily we enlisted the eager help from Kyla, whose parent’s ute acted as the cart for the strongly scented booty.
So here we are shoveling the shit:
This was great manure, as horse poo is (together with cows poo) one of the best fertilisers, not too harsh (as chicken droppings can be) and easy to compost.
It is important not to apply such nitrogen rich material directly against plants, as the fermentation process might upset the growth, this is also very important when dealing with chicken manure, which together with the heat produced during the fermentation process also has a very high quantity of phosphorous and nitrogen, a bit too much for the plants if applied too handsomely.
Read more about manure in cultivation here, and below is the steaming pile at the stables (note also the flytrap just behind it).
So here it is, a nice sizeable pile of manure to rest for a couple of weeks to then enrich Tending’s garden beds
Believe it or not, that took most of the morning, but the rewarding task was happily celebrated with green tea and pies and dates, as more guest joined us, noticeably Kirsten, 1/3 of Milkwood, who came along to visit Tendings, and Heather, our most constant supporter, and Nick Keys, another researcher from SCA, which planted a pot of red seeds in collaboration with Heather.
What else. We turned the compost bin, to aerate and speed up the process, we pruned the sick branches of the Kaffir lime, and we even managed to go to the Writer Centre to meet with a number of local activists, the Friends of Callan Park, which had organized an ‘open park’ event with posters , guided tours and tea stalls.
Over all we drank lots of tea, and achieved some great stuff, while the plants slowly but surely show themselves, like this potatoes from our chicken wire and tyre experiments below:
More images from the day here.
One last thing:
me and Lucas are really enthusiastic about Heather’s enthusiasm, who keeps sending us emails with amazing links to all sorts of related material, so much -valuable- material that we decided to make a new page up there, and call it Heather’s corner, and it will be a sort of depository of links, and connections possibilities, de facto ‘rooting’ Tending within a wider gardening/activist/artistic context.
We hope you readers might find as interesting as us.
Ah, the police horse poo! I wonder if it has special properties…
You need something in the photo of the pile for scale, I think.
Warm Poo to you, Vanessa! You’re right, that photo of the manure pile is playing tricks on my eyes – it looks like it could only be 20cm high. Try this one on for size (Kyla unloading the barrow, the boss sending a text message):
I should note that the finer-grained material in the foreground of the manure pile is actually RICE HUSKS – this is an innovation I haven’t seen before at the horse stables…
I love the police horse stables. It’s like another world in there, really relaxed – difficult to imagine those nice creatures being used for argy-bargy. See this shot, for instance:
Just a sunny day, not much to do but observe his own poo being bagged up for who-knows-what…
I can smell the horse urine from here…. yum…. to be really OG you need to collect 500kg of it at 6am in the middle of winter in a volvo with none of those bags to protect the velour (sp?)
hugs to you all