Grit Blogs > My Bad Sheep

Manure for Thought

Out here in Cow Country there are: melodious moos, crazy clucking, lots of baa humbug from the sheep contingent, and much manure for thought.

Cementing all this country atmosphere together is manure.  Plain and simple: anyone with a voice in the matter produces manure.

What wasn’t revealed in the pre-homeownership Declarations and Disclosure paperwork was the fact that most farms around us save up a barnload’s worth of manure per season, then add a few embellishments to produce liquid fertilizer, spread over the fields three times a year to enrich soil and scare away city slickers sniffing around at rural investment opportunities.

The first portent of olfactory doom arrives with a rumble as the ‘Poop Truck’ creaks and leaks its way up our narrow county roads hosing farm fields with liquid gold.

 And, be advised: pass da truck with caution. Ask me how I know. 

      Manure Spreader 

Also be advised: the stuff sticks like Superglue, and a standard run through the “touchless” car wash doesn’t BEGIN to address the issue. And if you opt for the car wash that employs real humans, be prepared to tip heavily (…also be prepared for ALL the workers to go on break simultaneously once they catch a whiff of what’s pullin’ up from the Back 40….)

The second phenomenon observed at these tri-annual events is the sudden explosion of the fly population as a result of this largess, approximately a week after Field Day.

I’m not talkin’ about a few errant buzzers, either: I’m talkin’ a full-scale invasion; the likes of which have not been seen since the rat-loving horror flick Willard hit the screens. I’m talking the “Look, the porch screen turned black overnight… no, wait, it’s FLIES!” phenomenon that has the postman throwing our mail at our house in lieu of his usual personal delivery at the door so he won’t have to face the possibly-man-eating Hoard of the Flies.

Of course, Ace Hardware is happy with the outcome: forewarned of the blessed event, they have thoughtfully stocked up on everything from Raid to swatters and flypaper: all of which is selling like hotcakes during the semi-annual Fly Sale (advertised – of course – via Flyer that Mr. Postman has thrown at the house.)

The smell permeates the entire county, ‘cause mind you: this isn’t just one farm’s clever recycling plan – it’s a synchronized, county-wide manure celebration. A kind of barn dance gone awry, if you will.

So go ahead: enjoy your recent move from City to Country.

But come prepared: it’s not just about hoedowns, livestock auctions, volunteer fire department barbecue fund-raisers, and town potlucks hosting Peyton Place overtones.

It’s also all about that fresh country air.

Which wouldn’t be as rich without a little manure thrown into the equation to remind us all on what side our beef is buttered.

nebraska dave
7/31/2012 10:32:32 PM

Diane, wow is that ever a far cry from the slinger that I filled with chicken fertilizer during my high school years. Of course I had to get up close and personal with my shovel method of loading and then there was no cab on the tractor used for spreading. It's a wonder my olfactory glands survived it. I don't remember that we had a fly problem any more so before spreading than after. When you go outside, for heaven's sake don't breathe through your mouth. :0) Have a great day as best you can.