Manure Preneurs. That's us. (Any self-employed screen printers out there? Make me a Manure Preneur T-shirt and I'll trade you some cool soap.) In this day of chemical fertilizers, Round Up ready seeds, overhead spraying by dive-bombing planes, what Keith and I do here is a rarity in our parts. We are literally surrounded by GMO corn and beans, corn and beans. Few Illinois farmers grow anything else, but we love to rock the status quo and our freaky chemical free methods...are working. Our clay heavy soils screamed for help and we responded and in return we have been gifted with the following.
Here again is the garden just off our front door. The pic was taken May 27.
And here it is just a little over four weeks later.
We did this with a nearly extinct form of food raising. Hard work. So much hard, sweaty work. We no longer own a tractor, riding mower or garden tiller. Our son Kyle did initially till this spot for us, but since then it's all been just hand tools. Next year the plan is No-till since we've laid the ground work for such this year. Lately I've become very close to my wheelbarrow and pitchfork. We use older moldy hay, grass clippings (from our push mower) well rotted manure/straw combination to mulch between rows. We hand pull weeds. It is not (yet) an efficient method but in future years all the work we've done lately will pay off in rich soil which will require only minimal maintenance.
Green beans on the left and tomatoes in the middle. Peppers and onions to the right.
Close up of the peppers with zucchini behind them, onions towards middle and far right are my herbs: chives, tarragon, basil, sage, mint, cilantro, thyme, all just three feet from my front door.
Alongside the sidewalk the package of wildflower seeds are in bloom and baby's breath, calendula, marigolds, cosmos and zinnias add the color I have always wanted in a garden.
I am one stinking ridiculous happy homesteader, until of course all the beans come ready for canning next week when the temps are predicted to be in the high 90's. Oh well. The life of a Manure Preneur is bound to stink sometimes.