Trudy is a horse who lives and works at the Garden Home and Farm with P. Allen Smith near Little Rock, Arkansas. We bloggers who participated in the #G2B12 Event found out that P. Allen Smith’s property is indeed a real farm, with real horses, and real issues (like manure). In the photo below you see Mimi San Pedro happily pointing to the first thing we spotted when we got off our bus ride from Little Rock. Yep. A giant steaming pile of horse manure left by Trudy.
Now do not get me wrong, there were a few sophomoric jokes about the poop. Face it, we are garden bloggers and cannot resist a good manure joke. But in reality manure is an entirely important part of a garden. Rotted, composted manure from non meat eating animals is like garden GOLD. Mixing rotted composted manure in with your garden soil is a brilliant way to keep your garden organic and healthy with no chemicals. So really, Trudy is doing us a favor. Just watch your step.
On the top photo above you see a Tom turkey in one of the coops. It is a hot, hot day and Mr. Tom Turkey is smart; he is staying inside where the sun does not hit him directly. Turkey’s provide meat on the farm and are great to keep along with chickens to help feed and sustain a family. They need a place to find shade and roost at night, just like chickens.
What surprised bloggers like Kylee Baumle from Our Little Acre and and Christopher Tidrick of From The Soil is how downright entertaining the chickens are. We all watched them for quite a while and my favorite photo is the shot of the black chickens – you can see the one chicken is making a mad dash to hang out with her lady friends. She is actually running very fast in this photo. So adorable!
Below you see all we garden bloggers sitting on the job and listening to information about the farm. There are several you might know like Carolyn Binder from Cowlick Cottage Farm, Steve Bender from The Grumpy Gardener, Genevieve Schmidt from North Coast Gardening, and Robin Horton from Urban Gardens.
We are sitting because we are all melting: it is over 89 degrees. I have no idea what the heat index was, but my guess is somewhere between heat stroke and hell. Yet no one complained because we spent a lot of time learning about how a farm works. Gardening is quite often about feeding our family and seeing fowl and other farm animals up close was an amazing experience.
When you add animals to the garden equation you see even more ways that our earth works together symbiotically. For example, there is the animal that has to eat, sleep, and be protected. Then there is the bi-product of the animal which humans can use to help them survive. We can eat the meat and eggs of the fowl and use the manure from all of these animals to help fertilize our vegetables. Yes, my friends, poop is good.
P. Allen Smith demonstrated how he does this on his farm; bringing nature together to be productive and healthy. It was fascinating and I am glad I was able to learn so much from the experience.
*Note – Because the FTC requires it, I am noting that attendees at Garden2Blog 2012 including myself received transportation, accommodations and meals during the event. Event sponsors provided samples and product giveaways at no cost or obligation. All opinions are my own.