Poor Big Red. He never gets a break. Last weekend we had him hauling far more hay than a truck his age should be expected to handle, and yesterday A. drove him off-road into the pasture where I proceeded to fill up his bed with really filthy sheep bedding.
He's a long-suffering truck, and I'm sure will get his reward in the next life. In this life, however, there is garden mulch to be had from the sheep barn. And Big Red is just the guy for the job.
Well, Big Red and his sidekick A. Plus Cubby the Supervisor.
I had started to move the bedding out of the barn in the pasture and into the garden with the wheelbarrow. I did two loads that way before deciding, "SCREW THIS. Not efficient. Get that truck up here."
So A. drove Big Red right up to the barn and I spent a really aromatic 45 minutes forking an unholy mixture of straw, sheep shit, and urine into the truck bed. This had been accumulating all winter from the hay the sheep wasted and spread around, then conveniently fertilized for me. It was at least a few inches deep everywhere, more like half a foot deep in some spots. I had to use the pitchfork to dig it out, because it gets kind of matted and solid and has to be sort of peeled up.
I do not enjoy mucking out the barns. I mean, obviously. NO ONE enjoys mucking out barns. But in an attempt to keep ahead of the weeds in the garden a little better than I did last year (which was, uh, not really at all ahead), I knew I would need a LOT of mulch around the plants. And what better for mulching than half-decomposed and pre-fertilized straw? It's right there, right? Free for the taking, and anyway, if I'm going to be doing ridiculous things like this with those infuriating animals, I might as well get some use out of them.
Gross it may be, but it will make for some happy plants. Once I get out there and actually spread it all around. You'll notice that it's just hanging out in the garden right now. I figured that was prudent, to make sure it had off-gassed any noxious fumes that might burn my plants.
See? I can learn.
Anyway, I only mucked out about an eighth of all the muck that's up there, so we should have enough to cover the entire garden in all-natural, totally free mulch. Assuming my back and the pitchfork hold out.
Happy Saturday, duckies!