The garden was full of giggles and squirming children at Toluca Lake Elementary School this morning as we talked about animal manure and it’s value in the soil. Last week the students met my hen “Red”. Part of the lesson was understanding that her poop contributes to a healthy soil structure and gives and extra nutrient to the plants.
In the 80 degree weather spring is in the air and the winter plants are straining under the heat. I put my students to work today as we prepped the garden beds for spring planting. We pulled old cabbage, arugula and kohl rabi plants and ripped them up into small pieces for the decomposers to go to work in the compost (and turn it into insect poop!). I brought horse manure (from Taking the Reins Ranch) to amend the beds. Most the students balked at the idea of being elbow deep in horse poop, but soon forgot after the work began. If animal manure is properly composted the smell is negligible, and the benefits are bountiful!
After soil prep we planted corn and bean seeds. We also ate some well deserved garden snacks; lettuce, carrots, kale, cabbage, spinach and radishes!