I just came across an amazing quote by John Adams, our second president. He is known for many things. He and Jefferson opened the rift that our country divides along to this day, but they shared a passionate love for their soil.
I have to share Adam’s musings on his manure piles:
Braintree, Massachusetts, 8 August 1771
I must also bring in 20 Loads of Sea Weed, i.e., Eel Grass, and 20 Loads of Marsh Mud, and what dead ashes I can get from the Potash Works and what Dung I can get from Boston, and what Rock Weed from Nat. Belcher or else where. All this together with what will be made in the Barn and Yard by my Horses, Oxen, Cows, Hogs, etc and by the Weeds, that will be carried in from the Gardens, and the Wash and Trash from the House, in the Course of Year would make a great Quantity of Choice manure.
In one of my common Walks, along the Edgeware Road, there ar fine Meadows belonging to a noted cow keeper. These Plotts are plentifully manured. There are on the Side of the Way, several heaps of manure, an hundred Loads perhaps in each heap. I have carefully examined them and find them composed of Straw and dung from the Stables and Streets of London, mud, Clay or Marl, dug out of the Ditch along the Hedge and Turf, Sward cutt up, with Spades, hoes and hovels in the Road. This may be good manure, but it is not equal to mine.
John, I know just how you feel. There is nothing like feeling that you have created something so good and rich that all manner of things can thrive on its bounty.
What’s your favorite part of this amazing process? For me it’s watching our compost thermometer start to spike. That’s when I know the magic is happening.