Mark Marchetti aka…the manure connoisseur…is all about the composting here on the farm. This week that man was knee deep in his chosen element…the barn yard. It’s clean up time and after a fall and winter of allowing the animals to do their job here on the farm Mark and his farm crew were harvesting the resulting manure. These animals play a key role here in our sustainable farm plan. Yes, they are adorable to look at, yes they are fun for the kids to pet and yes, they add to the over all farm experience. But no, that is not the key reasons they are here…remember I am practical in nature so just having something cute to look at is not part of my personality. All of our animals here on the farm play a vital role…some like the chicken give us more bang for the buck…like, eggs, compostable material plus they are wonderful bug eaters. The barnyard animals 4 goats, 3 mini donkey’s and one pot-bellied pig give us lot of manure to add to our compost pile each year. Plus I will say they aren’t bad lawnmowers either.
On this lovely late March afternoon Mark and his crew cleaned out the barnyard. All the animals got the day off to roam free on the farm…well sort of…Sarah and Lily kept watch making sure they stayed out of the production field and kitchen garden. Just being out and grazing the yard and woods made these guys so happy. They were jumping and playing all day with one another.
Barnyard cleaning is not for the faint at heart…its smelly…hard work but Richard and Lily took on this task with positive attitudes and had a little fun as well. Richard has been working on the farm for 2 years now and we love him. Lily is wonderful too and she and Richard are so cute together!
All this work however does pay off by way of adding all this wonderful organic matter back into our planting beds. This is the backbone of growing organically. Rich compost that feeds our plants, earthworms and microbes in the soil. As a small farm keeping a manageable consist source of manure makers is key for us to produce quality crops each season. Which by the way…we are just a few short weeks out from our CSA gathering and pickup…better get back to work…see ya soon.
The Female Farmer:)