A Present from Larry

My friend Larry, who manages a fancy horse stable in town, called Monday night. Could he dump some manure at my place? There was so little snow that it would be just as easy for him to haul it to my farm as to move it to his own back acres and then have to haul it again next spring.

Hooray! My poor, thin, acid, rocky soil needs every speck of nourishment it can get. Larry loaded, I tarped, and we drove up and down the highway. We got seven big loads dumped on my south field.

It was windy and spitting snow most of the day but the ground is open.

My pastures are now dotted with rough hillocks of rotting manure to be spread in the spring. To an outsider’s eye it might look messy but to mine it means inching closer to healthy soil and the promise of grass. In 2003 the A.P.A. state biologist walked my acres and told me I would never grow grass on my sour land. Slowly, slowly, with the help of grazing livestock and generous friends, I’m proving him wrong. Thank you, Larry!

I’d planned to vaccinate the ewes with CD/T yesterday, among other projects, but that was bumped off the schedule by the unexpected manure windfall. I felt a bit better when I got home to find a kind email from a vet at the Pipestone Veterinary Clinic (a big sheep outfit out in Minnesota), telling me that it was too late for the vaccine to give lambs any immunity anyway, so I might as well wait until they are four weeks old. Off the hook!

This morning it is -5° and Lucy and I have to head to Vermont for the orthodontist.

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