October 13, 2009

How does your garden grow?

Well, I don't know about yours, but ours grows big, tall and yummy with...drum roll please......paca-poo!!

That's right, paca-poo is an amazing substance, commonly called "black gold" and it's locally grown, too. I've got 32 alpacas in my backyard making all of it I could ever want. Alpacas have a marvelously efficient digestive system. Alpaca manure is lower in organic matter content than the manure from most other livestock such as cows, horses, goats and sheep, but it still has enough to improve soil texture and water holding capacity. Paca poo does not have to be "aged or cured", it doesn't "burn" the plants it comes in contact with, and can be applied rather carelessly without fussing. That means NO composting necessary. You could mulch Alpaca manure to your garden area anytime between fall and shortly before planting to have great soil. You could even just put it on top of the soil and flower beds and the rain will break down the manure and it will naturally mix into the soil. The nitrogen and potassium content is comparatively high (which indicates good fertilizer value). Phosphorus is relatively low (as are most livestock manure). The calcium and Magnesium content is about average. Alpaca manure is said to be one of the richest organic fertilizers available and (can't say it enough) it doesn't have to be composted before putting on your plants.

Man, do I sound too much like a commercial?? Sorry, I just love my paca-poo.

Now, the one problem with paca-poo is it is a continuously renewing resource.
Alpacas make about 1 gallon or 4 lbs. of beans (poo) a day. Times that by 34 (32 pacas and 2 llamas). That's 136 lbs. a day if my math is right. It doesn't look like that all spread out, but my back feels every pound.

OUCH!!! That's my dear hubby kicking me (figuratively) because he's reminding me that he actually does most of the scooping. :) Love you!

Well, we've gotten a little behind here at Tomorrow Farm in the scooping department. We've had a lot of rain the last couple weeks and no one wants to rake and scoop in wet, cold, muddy pastures so......

Here comes the tractor!

The tractor is good for scooping and moving and today we're giving it a workout. I'm going to solve 2 problems though at the same time. The paca-poo gets cleaned up and the garden gets a new layer of poo to compost in for spring.

So back and forth I go on the tractor. First to the pastures for Jim to fill the bucket and then off to the garden to spread it around. This takes a couple hours, but by the end the pastures are poo free and the barn has a new layer of manure-less sand.

At least until Tomorrow.

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