Mental Manure

The only thing a farm produces with 100% efficiency is manure. You can rely on it, every day! Each cow, steer or heifer defecates 8 to 12 times per day. One pig produces the same amount of waste as three people, each and every day.  Farms produce a lot of manure!

Manure is the most important step of the healthy, sustainable, and organic soil management program at Dragonfly Garden Farm. We spread a wonderful, composted combination of pig, chicken, duck, goose, turkey and cattle manure. Our manure is ALWAYS composted, this ensure the best nutrients are available to our soil.

On our sustainable Farm we know animal health is linked to the health of the soil.  We manage our soil’s health because we have learned that it pays us back with each crop of hay we harvest. It grows healthy pasture-land for all our animals. They are healthy because our soil is healthy.

I look at our soil and how our day-to-day farm practices have impacted our land.  This manure feeds our soil, which grows our hay and pasture, and in turn pays us back for its investment, each summer, each season and with each harvest.  Manure is awesome!

Then the hay and pasture feed our animals and they produce a wonderful bi-product, manure, waste, or if you don’t mind the term, shit. We have built a sustainable healthy process out of composted manure.

Making something positive out of something negative I think is the most valuable lesson in life. You all know the antidote, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. With my head and heart completely smitten with farming, I often look at our farm and its natural cycles to see how they apply to life. I had an epiphany about how I need to turn the manure that sometimes happens in my life into something positive, something that feeds my soul.

I thought, if I had a space in my brain where I could set that manure that life generates and let it rest and break-down, maybe I could make something good out of it. You know the manure I am referring to, the negative voice in your head, critical words or actions from others, expectations or judgments. That angry feeling you get when someone cuts you off on your way to work or the injustice you feel about multi-national corporations who cheat humanity for the all mighty dollar. I call that mental manure; it sits in steaming piles in your brain and holds you back and makes you feel like life stinks!

Well, I decided to give it a little space in my brain and I called it the Mental Manure Pile. If it smells like manure, feels like it or looks like it, instead of letting it sit there and steam, I add it to the Mental Manure Pile. THEN I let it go. My farming experience has taught me that in time it will age, heat-up and turn into something healthy and healing. It will become positive and feed my soul, just like our composted manure feeds our soil.

When something really stinky lands in my head and it takes up a lot of time, space and energy, I can speed up the process. Just like the manure pile on our farm, we speed up the composting process by turning the manure pile, this makes it heat up and compost faster.

I do this with my mental manure pile by saying a prayer, the prayer I think each person knows. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” This seems to do the trick and it turns that big steaming pile that life sometimes provides, into a positive energy that feeds my soul and makes my perspective positive once again.

Shit happens so when it does, put it on the mental manure pile. You reap what you sew!