Friday, March 13, 2009

Manure on my Mind

My Prize Hosta Elegans from the old house...I hope to have stuff like this in my new house's garden.
'
But what is on my mind today is manure. Unfortunately, I don' t have any pictures of manure to use as an illustration. My two neighbors to the east both have horses. I want to ask them if I can come over and gather up the horse apples and some rotted straw to enrich and activate my compost pile.
However, I don't know the proper protocol for such a request.
And it continues to be chilly and rainy, so I will have to wait a while anyway. In the meantime I went shopping and came across these sandals at Walmart.
My old pair is pretty worn out and I could use a new pair, so I tried these on and walked around the store in them to see if I really liked them or not.
I did.
And I discovered a really wonderful thing. They fixed my sore knee. My VERY SORE knee. First I tripped down the stairs three times (last Summer) and then my foot developed plantar fasciitus which traveled up my leg and gave me misery in my knee and eventually my hips. I try not to complain in the blog but I have been miserable enough to go to the doctor about this. Nothing really worked until I found these simple $25 sandals. The arch support and cushioned sole made a HUGE difference and my pain disappeared. I can walk down the stairs totally normally now. It's a miracle for me. It has changed my whole mindset. Hurray!!

It got cold last night, enough to make me bring in my dozens of potted hosta from the porch. I am being smart this year and not planting anything until after the last frost date. It didn't frost up, but there were sleet and snow storms in Nashville and it could have traveled down here.
I rescued these plants, also from Walmart. They are the kind in plastic bags, dozens packed in a box in a warm store, trapped and sprouting inside their bags. I got there just in time to get them a breath of fresh air, some real soil, and a safe home until I let them loose in my new shade garden... in April.
from our old house, again...

And I have raised beds on my mind. Dave and I were at Lowe's yesterday checking out power tools. I was convinced I needed a 10"radial saw to cut lumber to make new beds for the sunny part of our yard. But we talked ourselves out if it. Lowe's will cut the lumber for us (only four cuts are needed) to make two 4x8' beds. The lumber I have in mind is 2x12' by 12 feet long.
These beds were more like 5x5' by 10"deep. They were sunk into the yard and filled with composted manure and produced the glorious abundance seen here. But this was treated lumber and not good for veggies. Instead I will buy untreated lumber and paint it thoroughly first before it goes into the yard. Then I can have tomatoes, peppers, green beans, beets, lettuces, basil, parsley, zucchini, etc. Sigh.
So how do you ask for manure?

32 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Hmmm... can't help you with the manure question, but I'd advise you head back to Wal-Mart and buy every pair of those sandals that they have in your size. You're likely never to find them again! I had a pair of brand name shoes that did wonders for me. A year later, they had changed the style enough that whatever worked for me wasn't working in the new ones. I had to start the "hunt" all over again. Get 'em while the gettin's good!

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  3. Our nearest neighbor is a horse boarding facility. They have a huge pile of manure/compost outside the barn at all times. They are more than happy to "donate" some of their excess. I bet you will find the same thing with your neighbors too!

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  4. Ask nicely and offer a loaf of your homemade bread in exchange. I used to trade homemade treats for manure with a neighbor.

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  5. You ask for manure by simply asking :D They will be happy to share, I have no doubt!

    If you are in the least concerned, take a loaf of bread or some other goodie with you when you go.

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  6. Follow Barb's words of wisdom and buy those sandals. If they don't have more in your size let me know. I will check out our Walmart here. Hooray for no pain.

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  7. I had the pleasure of horse-sitting for a neighbor last year... mentioned the manure and she invited me to take all I want! I have heard that it needs to sit for awhile before adding to the garden, tho.
    BTW, why can't you use treated lumber for veggies? I dearly want raised beds, but I'm concerned about using untreated lumber. And I have never heard that painting would preserve the wood from rotting... help, garden guru!

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  8. You can't go wrong in the south by starting out with "Howdy!" (...And a loaf a bread.) Go for it! ;-)

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  9. you more than likely would be HELPING them by taking some of the manure!! Once they find out you want some..you may have more than you can use! At least around here, it has to be shoveled into the trash bin so the trashman can haul it away..
    I am going to check out my WalMart..those are some nice-looking sandals! I need a new pair for this summer...

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  10. Anonymous10:41 AM

    Melody - while growing up, we found the older manure (kinda dried up and flakey) worked better, as the newest contained high amounts of nitrogen, and initially did more harm than good to the plants & soil. Hmmm, never had a clue I would be thinking about this when I got up this morning .... lol

    Rhonda M.

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  11. The old manure is best for gardens, Mrs. Mel. Hopefully it will be composted enough to destroy any weed seeds in it. Also, get thyself to a podiatrist and get some custom orthotics made to help alleviate the pain of your plantar fasciitis. I've been using them for 20 years... they are a good thin!

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  12. I have heard from more than one person that that the proper footbed support is on of the best "cures" for Plantar facsiitis (spelling?) We have a chain of stores here in the West called Summit Hut. For under $50, they will take an imprint of your sole in a relaxed and proper position and send them out for a custom shoe insert -- not technically an orthotic -- but just providing more of the right kind of support. Actually I think I remember $35. I have heard this is a godsend for people with plantar fasc. I wonder if they have Summit Hut or a similar store near you?

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  13. Here's something to do for plantar fasciitus--freeze water in a plastic bottle, then roll your bare foot over it for about 20 minutes, three times a day (or whenever you can). I hear on good authority that it really works! (Plus wearing good shoes and orthotics.)

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  14. Anonymous5:48 PM

    Just ask about the manure...older, the better, the seeds in the fresh stuff will happily sprout for you and grow like gangbusters! Most folks will be happy to just let you haul it away.

    'Course a treat of bread or homemade cookies never goes amiss...

    My hubby has trouble with his feet also; he does the cold bottle trick, plus a set of stretches that he learned from a PT, and exercise helps him sometimes. Plus the right shoes (hiking boots for him, and running shoes) and inserts.

    If the sandals help, get another pair or two while they are still there!

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  15. Anonymous7:08 PM

    If all else fails, try chicken manure. It is the absolutely bestest..lol..

    Take a six-pack of beer and your cheery self, bet they'd then bring a truckload over to your house FOC.

    I second or third getting more of those sandals. Now that I've seen your Hostas, got to go find me some.

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  16. While I was waiting for my car to be repaired..I realized there was a WalMart a half a block from the car place...walked over..AND...I am now the proud possesor of those comfy sandals!!!Thanks for posting them...

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  17. If you go love your shoes....go buy a couple of more pairs!!! How many times have you been sad to see a pair wear out? Wouldn't it be loverly to have a back-up pair or 2 or 3?

    Speaking from experience, my feet hurt every waking hour. Maybe I'll go find some like yours!

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  18. Hey Melody,
    I hear WD-40 can help knee problems. I know, I know it sounds crazy, but have two friends who had knee pain, used it and walla walla bing bang. I'm anxious to know if anyone has had any success!!
    Love your stuff!! I'm going to IKEA for the first time when I visit Charlotte NC - should be fun!

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  19. I hear deer love hostas. And you may need to put deer fencing around any vegetables you plant.

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  20. I always check out the Earth Shoes, just got some new red sandals.

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  21. Anonymous2:39 PM

    tiedyejudy, you shouldn't use treated lumber for veggies because the plant may take up some of the poison that keeps it from rotting and then you ingest it. You can use the composit/plastic boards they use for decking, or I go the cheap route and use untreated pine boards. They rot after a few years, but they're so cheap, who cares.

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  22. Thanks for the tip that my all time favorite sandal is back at walmart. Time to replace my last pair - worn to rags!

    Deb Richardson memorialized a picture of mine with this postcard.

    http://www.lacativa.com/hold/Gladiator.jpg

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  23. 1. Bring your neighbors a pie and just ask. Admit that you don't know the protocol and need their advice and indulgence.
    2. I have also had knee problems of late. I got orthotics (much more expensive than your $25 sandals). I have also been doing exercises to strengthen my knees and loosen my hips. My hips are really tight. My knee is not 100%, but is feeling better and I can walk again. Try stretches.

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  24. Anonymous4:53 PM

    Have you ever tried Birkenstocks? They have fixed lots of foot/knee/back problems.

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  25. Anonymous3:33 PM

    *Have you ever tried Birkenstocks? They have fixed lots of foot/knee/back problems.*

    As well as lined the pockets of Neonazis in Germany. Birkenstocks' name, among others, were found on a list of their largest funders. DO NOT PURCHASE BIRKENSTOCKS!

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  31. Anonymous3:30 PM

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Hello,
So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com