One of the good things of living in Somogyvámos is that we can get cow manure quite easily. 🙂
Our vegetable garden has not cried out for nutrient supply, but after two years of using the land we have decided it is time to provide some support for the soil. We thought of it also as an exemplary move, because the basis of organic gardening is a well-prepared and nutritive rich soil.
The best presently existing soil-condition supplying material is cow manure, because it contains nutrients in optimal proportions, as well as it improves the structure of the soil. It loosens dense soil, makes clay ground friable and vegetables absorb nutrients easily.
As opposed to cow dung available in stores, the one we can get from Krishna Valley is hundred percent chemical and antibiotic free. Now, this is what makes it a treasure!
The transportation meant being in the illusion of travelling in time: the manure was delivered in an ox-cart pulled by two oxen.
Collecting fresh droppings – it is not useful for manuring, but can be very well used as ointment to heal cankers. Vedic knowledge has known it for millennia, but western culture has only discovered and recognized its antiseptic qualities.
Cattle breeding of Krishna conscious devotees is worth as much as the ancient, traditional way of animal husbandry in Somogy county. (See the article of Csaba Hosszú in the book entitled Anthropogenic Ecological Changes in the Carpathian Basin, which was compiled by Bertalan Andrásfalvy and Gábor Vargyas). What is more, it may be stated that their is a further developed tradition, because people of the 19th century, according to the testimony of above mentioned book, were mainly breeding cattle for their meat, whereas devotees of Krishna only breed stock for their milk and work, and never slaughter any of the cows or oxen.
While the boys grabbed the shovel and unloaded the cart, the engine was stopped; work stock was standing still dutifully. 😉
Spreading manure can be fun, especially if one is used to urban life, but has the opportunity to gain the experience of rural charm. At the same time it was quite an enlivening sentiment that we would be able to provide the necessities for the soil soon enough. We would just put back what we harvested as vegetables and grain not so long ago.
If someone does not have a dairy farm in his neighbourhood, then he may use pulverized manure, too. This is quite easily accessible and one can get an organic kind as well. If in Hungary, you may check out the website of Biokontroll Hungary to learn where to get it.
We will write about the various utilization of manure in our next article.
Szilvia Rév and András Kun