Saturday, September 4, 2010

Horse sh..., manure story

    Wrote this before my blogging days, so it doesn't have any neat little pictures.  

From an email from my sister Sally, without her permission.  Hope you don't mind kiddo.
     Just got back from shoveling a load of horse manure into the truck.  Might wait for Mark to help me shovel it out!  I'm so aware of the need for soil improvement.  Thank goodness I found a free source of manure.  The 20 mile drive is a very pleasant one, through some beautiful countryside.

    So you think she must be weird like her little brother.  That we must come from a gardening family.  Nope, Dad was a lawyer/banker who thought it was totally illogical for people to spend big time and money for gardening when you could just go to the store and buy a perfectly horrible tomato.  Mom would try year after year to grow tomatoes in the one spot in the yard that got four hours of sun a day.  You already know that result.  Dad's only respect for my gardening endeavors was that he was intrigued when the purple beans miraculously turned green upon cooking.
    Enough already, what about horse sh..., manure.  When I was eight years old, our family moved into a big old stone barn that had been remodeled into a very neat place for a kid to call home.  Across the street lived David, my age, and Larry his brother who was a couple of years older though none the wiser than us youngins.  They were my buddies in crime growing up, till college moved me away.  Well David and Larry's father, Mr. G. - I won't use his name for fear that he might rise from the dead to come back and thrash me - was into the horses.  The ones that had the little carts behind, the sulkies?  Mr. G. had a brilliant idea that he could own a horse and race it.  And of course become a millionaire.  And retire and live happily ever after.  He got permission from a neighbor to clear a couple of acres of woods behind us to build a corral and a two stall horse barn.  He did this I think by his own hand, so you can well imagine the time, money, energy and sweat poured into that black hole.  Well the horse did what most horses do which was eat and sh.., and not win horse races.  In the meantime, the horse manure pile grew bigger, and bigger, and bigger still.  I suspect that being on fairly high ground in Delaware to start with, that the top of Mount Manure may well have been the highest point in the lowly state.
    Well after a couple of years of non winnings, the horse farm was shut down.  A couple of years later yet, I was out looking for raspberries - even back then - and remembered that they grew in the overgrown remnants of the horse corral.  A better place to look than the patch across the street protected by the stinging nettles mixed in.  Well after a time, I found a patch of berries that were the biggest, plumpest, most delicious berries I had ever seen or tasted, even to this day.  Yep, you guessed it.  Growing upon the remnants of Mount Manure were the best berries this world has ever seen.  Bar none.  So if you want great berries, buy a horse?  The pick up truck method seems far easier.
    Maybe next year I'll go across town to see if anything is left of the patch some 40 years later.  Probably all shaded in.  Whoops I lied.  Come to think of it, it is more than 40 years later.
    Be Berry delicious. -  George