In my mind, this ought to be the postcard photo of Bedlam Farm (it isn’t, the donkeys are). When I think of the farm, I often think of Maria taking manure out of the barn and shoveling it onto the impressive manure pile, now big enough for the sheep to stand on.
Our neighbors are taking some of the manure for compost, Scott Carrino will take the rest for his beautiful garden at Pompanuck Farm. Maria and I shovel out the barn together, but somehow, Maria has taken over the manure pile, she is like that about certain chores, they are simply hers.
Chores are like that, I always scrape snow off the cards, I fill the water buckets, she tends to the chickens, we both feed the animals, I take the dogs out for their last walk at night.
Because we have a pony right now, the pile is much bigger than usual. We also have four new sheep, the Gang of Four. Maria is faithful to her manure pile, as she is to the work on the fiber chairs. Chores are spiritual, even artistic thing for her, and I happen to love her farm dress, it is different from most women who live and work on farms.
When Maria was in India, I piled the manure on it in the afternoons, it is an impressive thing. It is pretty wonderful for gardens, and we are happy to recycle and re-use it.
So I think of this as Maria’s Manure Pile, it has become a favorite thing of ours, we watch it grow and feed it daily.