Farm report

Posted on April 17, 2012


As I drove east on M-88 the car filled with an eyewatering aroma. Cowboy! I growled, casting a steely eye at the spaniel in the rearview mirror. He looked confused. We emerged from the reeking cloud. Ah. Now I remembered. This is the time of year when Antrim County farmers apply Organic Enrichment to their fields. The fragrance of the day was turkey poop. (The well-rotted and dried poop of domesticated turkeys. I’ll have you know there’s a market for the stuff Around Here.) Here is a puzzle for you. Why does the turkey cross the meadow?

To get away from the stench on the fields. You should be very glad that WordPress does not provide a Smell-O-Vision widget.

That is, of course, a wild turkey trying to distance himself from the situation. Perhaps he thinks he smells better than the domesticated variety. Even the Cowboy smells better than that, so the turkey is probably correct in his assessment. I would like to show you a better photo, but wild turkeys are wily, and they are a lot faster than you think they are when you are trying to catch them. Here is something that stayed still for awhile.

It is another puzzle, a piece of ingenious do-it-yourself Antrim County farm equipment, enhanced with a little digital painting just because I wanted to play with the software.

When I took those pictures I knew what the piece of equipment was, but not what it was being used for. The next day I came back and found out. Here you have classic Antrim County farm ingenuity applied to the problem at hand.

Here it the equipment sitting quietly once more.

Yes, it is a rusty bedspring. Dragged around the paddock at the end of a good stout rope it crumbles the dried horse manure and straw and spreads it out evenly. The rains come. The soil is enriched. That is what I am told, anyway. I can be a credulous person, and there is quite a good game of Let’s See What We Can Get Gerry To Believe making the rounds. Still, I am inclined to think this particular explanation is the unvarnished truth. We’ll see how well the theory works as the summer progresses. I don’t mind going back to investigate. Horse manure is positively fragrant next to turkey poop.

And that is your authoritative farm report for this week.