The Honey Wagon

Fall is a great time to improve your soil with the addition of organic matter. During the spring, the mad rush to get things planted often means that there is precious little time to ensure the soil is in top shape.  Right now, there is a good window of opportunity to add products like SeaSoil (composted fish waste and forest fines) to the garden which improve tilth (soil workability) and increase nutrients for all of your plants.
 
Growing up on the farm, once the fall harvest had been completed, we would concentrate on building our soil for next year’s crops. And one thing that I could always count on in October, were a few visits from the "Honeywagon".  Now, anyone who has grown up on a farm knows that Honeywagon is just a euphemism for a wagon that carries rather unpleasant smelling manure.
 
Mr. Raven, a farmer to the north of us had thousands of chickens (laying hens for egg production, to be more specific) and he would have thousands of gallons of liquefied chicken manure that he would spray onto the vegetable fields after harvest. Chicken manure is particularly "pungent" to say the least, but it was terrific stuff for maintaining the organic matter in our soil.
 
Whenever I would complain about the smell, Dad would always educate me about the importance of maintaining good soil tilth and fertility.

"Besides", Dad would state, "if you have a cold, nothing clears the sinuses better than the smell of chicken manure".
 
I quickly got used to the "sweet" smell of the Honeywagon at a young age, but as residential houses rapidly expanded toward our property line, I know that the arrival of the Honeywagon early on Sunday mornings wasn’t exactly the best way to kick off Sunday brunch.
 
But as the saying goes, "You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs". Then again, there wouldn’t be any eggs to break without healthy soil to provide grains for the chickens to eat.

~Jim Hole