Monday, September 30, 2013

Filling horns

Yesterday we did our semi-annual job of spreading BD-500 on the land here.  It is our only fertilizer application on the pastures, other than what the dairy herd is doing naturally.

We fill horns with our own manure in the fall, then bury the horns until spring, when we dig them up for our first application.  The composted manure is knocked out of about half of the horns and the rest stay underground until our fall task.  We usually have 15 to 20 people here, and each person gets a bucket with about three gallons of water in it and a stick.  I put a fourth cup of this horn manure into each pail, and each person gets busy creating vortices and chaos in the bucket for an hour. 

At the end of the hour, we really don't care much about the manure, the remains of which have sunk to the bottom of the pail.  What we do care about is the energized water, which is applied with pine boughs, cut from the trees here on the farm.  That one fourth of horn manure is good for fertilizing up to one acre, a pretty amazing feat.

We did all 30 paddocks, plus my greenhouse and gardens yesterday.  Oh, and the three calf pens as well.  Can't forget about them!

Tina never misses this operation, but yesterday she couldn't be here.  She is always the one in charge of refilling the horns for next year's applications.  Well, I was saving that job for her, but Ava insisted that she and her dad could fill them.  So I sent them out with spoons and instructions.  They hooked up with Kristina and her two kids Keira and Dane, and before I knew it, the job was done!  The kids had a ball, and it was nice to know that everything got completed in that one afternoon.  Here are some pics of the kids burying the filled horns, as well as some pictures of BD-500 days past.

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