Horse Manure (Trail Gold)

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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I've had a belief since I was a child that was given to me by a local regional park ranger: horse manure is the best, that's why we call it trail gold

This is why when we bought our land I looked up a couple of local horse farms and asked if I could come get some manure to spread around my prairie (some of which was former corn land) and to mix into my soil mixture for my tree farm pots. It was tough to figure out a schedule with most of them, so my trailers were not frequent, but then as things go you meet a random person who says "call this guy" and hands you a number.

Denny was (😢) immediately one of those guys I wish I had known my whole life. A great father figure. He was 76 (twice my age) but full of jokes and life. When he was done loading me up he'd yell at me "now get your **** and get off my land". I only got to know him about 6 months, but I considered him a friend. One day he didn't call me back, which was unlike him, so a few calls and days later I stopped by his house to see if he was alright. His wife was there and I knew from the second I saw her that my friend was gone. But her loving heart didnt skip a beat and after some years and chatting about him, especially letting me know that the night before he died he got to eat his favorite meal and she had even made him an apple pie, she said "come by this weekend and I'll be sure to have my nephew here to run the skid loader; and bring your little girls with you too"

From the first call I made to him he praised his friend who gave me his number and I'll miss him terribly. But his wife said "you be sure to come back in the spring for more manure".

Ranger Tim Gordon was a great father figure. The lessons and respect he instilled in me at a young age I can directly point to as the reasoning I do what I do today, including starting that tree farm. He taught me to seek out horse manure for soil health and then here I am nearly 30 years later finding another great father figure who was a source of horse manure for those trees and my prairie.

So go out and get some horse manure and mulch it up for your berries and other plants. Trail gold, donchaknow?

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thistlebloom

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My condolences on the loss of your friend Sprig. :(
Sounds like you have had some wise counsel in your life. I don't have to go far to find Trail Gold and I've been spreading it all over our property for years.
When our next door horse owning neighbors moved in they asked me if I hauled my horse manure to the dump, and if not what did I do with it? I thought it was common knowledge that it was great garden fertilizer. I convinced them that it was valuable and now they have road apples spread everywhere too.
 

Beekissed

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Great story!!! I love old farmers and can't help but miss this dying breed.

Been studying up on farmers doing regenerative farming and how valuable the dung beetle has become. Some good info on dung beetles and dewormers....something to consider when getting horse manure from farmers is how much and what kind of dewormer they use.


 

Beekissed

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in the north country the dung beetles have little snow suits and sleds for the winter. i'm not even sure there are any dung beetles this far north... i've never seen any of them doing anything to the rabbit or deer pellets...

i guess i am the dung beetle! :)
You have them....they are just about everywhere except Antartica: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dung_beetle
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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Great story!!! I love old farmers and can't help but miss this dying breed.

Been studying up on farmers doing regenerative farming and how valuable the dung beetle has become. Some good info on dung beetles and dewormers....something to consider when getting horse manure from farmers is how much and what kind of dewormer they use.


The thing was is he wasn't even a farmer. He sold insurance his whole life until in retirement him and his wife decided to buy 20 acres, stable horses and just enjoy that :)

Thanks for the links.

Everytime I bring a trailer full of manure home it's a manual process to shovel it out, which takes a bit since it's a 16' trailer. Anyways, i keep a 5gal bucket handy for all the fat grubs I find so I can give them to my chickens later :)
 
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SprigOfTheLivingDead

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@SprigOfTheLivingDead I know your pain. I had an elder 30 years older than me that guided me on animals. I was always “the kid”. Now I’m the old fart and I harass the “kids” as I try to pass what very few lessons I’ve learned.
Thanks. He always called me "kid" :)

I assume Ranger Gordon is now passed on too. I contacted him a few years back and corresponded via his wife since he had come down with Parkinson's. I wanted him to know the difference he made in my life. After not talking for two years or so I tried to contact him again this past year and never got a response. No obituary as far as I could find, so maybe he's still kicking :)

Anyways, so every tree I plant I surround by a layer or two of cardboard, then i cover it with a few inches of manure. I also did the same for our raspberry and blueberry patches
 

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