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Poo Alchemy

We've talked a lot about parasite management.


Here's a whole bunch of articles about that:



In short, we recommend floating manures periodically, worming in the A months with moxidectin, paddock rotation, harrowing and collecting manures.


There is a particular advantage to the last part. Horse poo is gold. People pay for it. Collecting manures for parasite management creates a by-product, which is compost. Composted horse poo, stable muck (if you have stables), feed-shed sweepings and the stalky parts of hay horses don't eat make the most amazing growing medium.


In its simplest form, you can create a pile in the corner of your paddock, and grow a shade tree in it. Tubestock is much more likely to be successful in a rich pile like this.



Tubestock planted directly into a manure pile.


If you are willing to put in a little more elbow grease you can actively compost your manure in a tumbler or dalek and have a free medium for growing your own vegetables. Over time you can become increasingly self-sufficient in fruit and veg for free!



We use this tumbler for composting manures and feed-shed sweepings. Old feed bags used for growing potatoes.


We have built raised beds from old fence posts and palings discarded when we have replaced our fencing. We use the 'lasagna' method of building those beds with empty paper feedbags (specifically maxisoy and easy-mash bags) to stop weeds, followed by layers of manure, pulled weeds, clippings from paddock slashing, and feed-shed sweepings.




We started with 2 beds, and now there are 12.



We also use the paper feed bags to grow potatoes. Fill a bag with the same lasagna method and just leave it there. Initially we bought seeds potatoes, but now we just tip the bag up when we harvest the potatoes, and then the potatoes that are too small to eat just go back in the bag with new growing medium and they re-sprout. It's the 'Magic Pudding' of potatoes.


Maxisoy bags are perfect. Fill them with manure and grow in the bags. If you pack them close together they will smother weeds underneath, and eventually deteriorate, leaving you with the beginnings of a new bed.


Initially we bought seeds for the vegetables, but now we collect seeds from the vegetables that have prospered in previous seasons. Or alternatively, we just let some plants go to seed, and compost it back into the same bed, and often-times they come up by themselves.


We are lazy weeders. If a bed becomes overwhelmed, we basically re-cover the whole thing with empty maxisoy bags and re-start the lasagna. We now have permanent beds of herbs - rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, and tarragon. Permanent beds of silverbeet, perpetual spinach, leek, broccoli, strawberries, fennel, cos, asparagus, and chilli. Tomatoes come up by themselves. Corriander and dill come up by themselves. Pumpkin and watermelon come up by themselves.

Ideally you are going to collect the manures anyway as part of your parasite management. If you don't want to build beds - you have empty feed bags. Put the poo in the bags and throw some seeds in. You have free resources to use to grow the most amazing food for your family year round.

 

Ours is not the prettiest garden in the world, but it's functional for providing the majority of the fruit and veg for our family, which is not only a significant saving, but fresher and more nutritious.





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