Avid Gardeners Adventurously Acquiring Amendments (or) Shoveling Sh*t

It’s funny what gets you going when you really like gardening.  My Master Gardener buddy, Gregory, swears by manure for his gardens.  I’ve never seen his gardens, but he told me that three of the pictures in the Local Food, Farms & Jobs: Growing the Illinois Economy report that was presented to the Illinois General Assembly and later passed were of some of his community gardens. 

A couple of days ago he called me to remind me of a meeting that was scheduled (which I had forgot about).   It was held at one of the neighborhood arts centers.  They have free art classes for the kiddies, which is really nice.  I thought the meeting went well.  It always makes me feel good to talk garden. 

One of the ladies was giving an update on her garden.  She said they had the low tunnel all constructed and they were just waiting for the manure.  As I understand it, a low tunnel (in this case it can be called a hot bed too) is where you dig a hole in the ground where you want to plant.  You put in X amount of inches of fresh manure. I think she mentioned 18 inches.  On top of that you put a layer of soil.  Then you can plant into the soil.  The heat generated from the decomposing horse manure rises and gives bottom heat to the growing area. 

Near the end of the meeting Gregory mentioned he had a source for the manure but he needed a truck.  Another one of the ladies said she had a Suburban and she’d help, she just wanted reimbursement for gas.  Gregory jumped on the opportunity.   Networking at its finest.

Now, I’m thinking horse manure, free composting worms, free worm casts, free organic garden fertilizer.  So, I ask if I can follow them to the farm.  Between the meeting ending, changing clothes and getting to the farm the sun had gone down.  So, here we are five folks on a farm shoveling sh*t in the beam of headlights and talking garden.  It was surreal.

To justify my obsessive avid pursuit of all things gardening, manure is a useful commodity

Methane gas (which is produced as the manure decomposes) is a leading cause of global warming.  We gardeners can do our part one Bag-O-Sh*t at a time.

Happy Gardening!!!!

p.s.:  Not trying to beat anybody to the punch, but here’s a picture for you, Granny, of my borage.  It’s still pretty small.


Happy Gardening!!!



  1. April 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks, Cheryl. I think that’s what popped up in my garden, but mine is still tiny…two little roundish oval leaves, almost like a cucumber seedling (no cukes there, though). I planted about 9 or maybe it was 12 seeds, and just the one has germinated, so didn’t know if it was borage or (heaven forbid!) a weed.

    PS: Your post was full of sh*t 😀 *snicker/snort*

  2. gardengoodies said,

    April 17, 2009 at 9:21 am

    LOL. It was a really interesting day.

    Most of my borage germinated, but not at the same time. It’s probably borage in your yard because they reminded me of cucumbers too. It took forever for the first true leaves to start to grow.

    I planted two varieties of the peppers you sent. One of them was purple and the other one I’ll remember the name when I see it. Out of the ten seeds that I planted, five of one variety came up, all at different times. I mixed up my labels, so the variety will be a surprise. Thanks again.

  3. Kate said,

    April 17, 2009 at 11:42 am

    HOLY CRAP! <—okay, that’s the best I could do.

    What a great post! LOL. I, too, have had a sh!t-shoveling experience for my garden too and it’s one of those times where you wonder how crazy you would look to onlookers.

    So was it horse poo or cow poo?

    I’m off to read about how to shove chicken poo in my husband’s car now thanks to your link!

  4. gardengoodies said,

    April 17, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    “HOLY CRAP” was good. I just can’t stop laughing at myself.

    It was horse poo, but one of the guys there was offering up his chicken poo. There were a couple of goats there, so I’ll have to check out the benefits of goat poo.

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