In high school a friend and I had a saying to help us remember something in English Literature class. It was “We be tillers of the soil, we be diggers of the earth. We be dirt farmers!” What it was intended to help us remember I have no idea – the phrase is stuck in my head though it’s meaning has long disappeared.
So I found it very ironic the other day to realize that the most successful part of my mini farm so far – has been the dirt! I am, officially, a dirt farmer.
The chickens are taking their winter break from laying eggs. Out of four chickens I am getting maybe five eggs a week. My rabbits are not breeding like rabbits – not that anybody’s ever do, unless they don’t want them to. Rabbits are contrary that way. And it’s dipping below freezing from time to time now, so gardening is out for this season.
Which leaves the dirt. Or compost, as it’s called in its pre-dirt phase.
The massive pile along the side of the yard. As I mentioned in a previous post, compost is powerful. And one of its attractions is its ability to keep working even in winter!
I can add to it, I can balance it, I can turn it and aerate it, I can water it (well, here in Oregon the sky does that for me). I see the birds in it when I go outside, and I see the worms in it when I turn it. The bottom of the pile has become a beautiful, rich soil. It’s WORKING. Even in the middle of the cold, rainy season. It’s a nice break from the boringness of the other chores that feel rather – unproductive – in winter.
So, at least for this season, I proudly announce that I AM A DIRT FARMER!