By happy coincidence, one of the things we need to clean up on our farm is something in high demand: Manure. You might say we're spreading a lot of it around.
For years, we took the science of composting fairly casually. Don would scoop out the underside of the awning each year (sometimes more often, depending on how much it needed it) in late summer or early fall. He piled the manure just outside the feedlot, where over the course of a couple of years it broke down into beautiful compost, which we then heaped on the garden tires when needed.
And since we have tons -- literally -- of this black gold, we're able to spread it around among neighbor who needed it for their gardens.
We have no problem leaving these fertile mounds for whomever buys our place (and hopefully they'll recognize the value of a good pile of poop), but nor do we have any problem handing out compost to anyone who wants some.
So when a neighbor fired up his ancient 1950s dump truck and brought it over for a load, Don happily filled it up. Twice.
He started by scooping out under the awning until he couldn't scoop anymore (the rest will have to be hand-raked out).
Then he turned his attention to the compost pile that is the favorite hangout for the chickens.
God bless tractors. Can you imagine moving this much stuff with a shovel or pitchfork?
The only problem is every time Don scooped up some compost, the chickens would descend en masse to gobble up worms.
They're fearless in the face of a tractor and refuse to move. No one ever said chickens were bright. (On the other hand, I'm convinced the compost pile and its inhabitants is what helps keep our birds as healthy as they are.)
This neighbor was able to help us clean out probably an entire ton of compost. Benefits for both sides!