I live in Smalltown, USA. If I threw a baseball south of my yard, it would land just outside the city limits onto lovely dark, black, Kansas dirt that is now covered with pig poo. Each fall, Farmer Right hauls truckloads of pig poo and spreads them unceremoniously on the field.
According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, he has 24 hours to till the poo into the earth. I know this because I called them 3 years ago when he piled on the poo, but a rain came quickly and left the poo to dissolve. And it dissolved way to slowly in the humid air of a warm fall. The leaves turned brown and some trees even died. The smell was so bad I heard maggots gagging and found turkey vultures passed out on my lawn. Our dog -who normally loves to roll in poo- would only go outside with an oxygen mask and my wife parked her car in the next town over.
This time, the smell isn’t quite as bad- he must have tilled it into the soil already -but it’s still bad. I sent him a Facebook post asking if he would be so kind as to at least come get some of the 24 million flies the poo attracted. He brought fly swatters instead.
Normally, on a pleasant day like today, I would have the window open to my office in the barn, but not today. I have the window shut tight with foam, put extra weather stripping around the door, and have 14 Buttercream Yankee Candles burning.
However, as much as I don’t like it, I know it has positive benefits:
- It’s good for the soil. It amazes me that an animal’s waste becomes nature’s benefit.
- I like the plants that grow in that soil. Because of the corn, milo, or wheat that grows, I get to hear pheasants clucking as they run the rows, watch deer grazing, and hear coons chatting it up in the grain.
- I like the product of those plants. The golden wheat of the June harvest eventually ends up on my plate with some form of meat sandwiched between the delicate slices of bread.
While I must tolerate it for a few days, I am reminded that smelly poo seems always to be a part of the process of a golden harvest. The smell is temporary, but the benefit is far more lasting. Hmm, seems like life to me.