No, I am not going to talk politics. This is the real manure. We have lots of it.

And with the increase in my chicken flocks we have even more manure this year. And with the gardens shrinking and the hay fields developing I wanted to get the manure out onto the fields this year.

Specifically the first hay field here by the house. So I went in search of a manure spreader. One of the things I really love about farming in America is the ancient farm machinery one can find abandoned on other peoples farms. And much of it ( if you can identify what it is) can be fixed up and put back to work.

My friend directed me to this! A manure spreader under a tree! It is old and rotten in places but my co-worker raced back to his workshop for his strong son and a trailer and they hauled it up and out before anyone could change their minds.

This really is an interesting piece of machinery.

He will fix it up: new tires, replace the rotten boards, grease up all the moving parts and replace the broken ones. It will keep him busy for a while. Then with a little more luck he will haul all our manure and spread it evenly on the fields. I just might get the chicken’s night houses cleaned out before winter after all!

We have light rain again. Not much but very welcome.

I am working on a bread recipe using cracked rye and polenta. It is very nice but when I ate it I thought of walnuts – and that taste connection is worth tending, so today I will begin another bread this time adding walnuts. I love nuts and seeds and wait – raisins. Let me think – it has molasses in the recipe – if I added walnuts AND raisins this might elevate the bread to magnificent – it is quite a dense loaf though not dense enough yet – oh wait- I just had another thought – if I then cut a very cold ( almost frozen ) loaf into really thin slices and baked them into crunchy crostinis – then served with cream cheese!? Oh my goodness. I could hit the cream cheese with lemon zest and thyme or rosemary- maybe rosemary.

Oh this is great.

Yes! I will try the crostini’s today with the original loaf. Then make the walnut one.

Dates? Would dates be better? Maybe just walnuts! Ok. The test kitchen is ready for another days work!

Thank you for the inspiration. Off I go!

Love celi

57 Comments on “SPREADING MANURE

  1. What a find on the manure spreader! We had one when I was a kid. We had pigs, chickens and sheep. The bread sounds great. Nothing better than homemade bread and with all you’re adding I would say it will elevate it to the next level.

  2. A strecth of property down on the coast here in MA was developed in the late summer, and largely occupied late winter. Towards the end of winter the farmer who owned the adjacent fields, that the newbs thought of as their view down to the water, started manuring. Oh. The upset at the Zoning Board of Appeals when thay learned that the farm was a prexisting practice and they had no appeal.

      • Yes, we have had that here. A subdivision sprang up alongside the local farmer’s pasture, the residents couldn’t think why he couldn’t keep his smelly cows 300 feet further in from the fenceline. What’s that you say? You didn’t see those black and white creatures when you built your house right next to their back yard? They have been spreading manure slurry out of tanker trucks on the recently harvested wheat field along my walking route. Ah, the fresh country air. My dog doesn’t understand why I wouldn’t let him roam that field as usual.

          • Well she is certainly welcome any time. Naughtiness often seems to be the norm around here what with Fiona laying her eggs in Percy’s bed, of course he eats them, and Percy climbing into Betty the duck’s pool and squashing down the sides so all the water runs out and Winnie running away from me when it’s time for fly spray I’m quite used to the naughty ones😂

  3. One bit of advice…don’t ride in a manure spreader while it is operating. Those spinning parts will chop you up and spread you around, too. Such an end would stink.

  4. I vote for a loaf with dates and another with raisins. Love the crostini idea. Yum. What does polenta do to the outcome? Just add corniness ? Or does it add other qualities as well?

  5. Yes! A find indeed! And wow, that bread looks incredibly delicious!!!

    • I can send you some flour to play with if you like. I have a samples budget! Or just order a bag and I will jam samples in the box with it! Don’t forget to write F after your name so I am alerted!

        • There really is. I am loving this next level of breadmaking that today I threw my mother in laws store bought bread in the rubbish and announced that from now on she only eats my bread with whole grain flour. Better for the bowel floor I said. Poor woman. She was brought up on wonderbread and margarine and jello and what’s that fake whipped cream stuff? And cheese ‘products’. But she is game! And I need more taste testers!

  6. Why less gardens? Too much rain this year, or your work at the mill, or less animals?

    • John is now in charge of the gardens. He will get there, but he is not a weeder or a planter for that matter. . . If I take over he will be hurt. Marriages are difficult

  7. Talking about test kitchens, have your kitchen renovations been completed? No before and after photos? Laura

    • After counting my monies then counting up the years expenses I decided to leave it be. I might put in another stainless steel bench on wheels. But the beautiful kitchen is not to be I am afraid. I am NOT going into debt for a kitchen. Sad but ok.

  8. Raisins and walnuts are classic in a rye loaf — and your crostini idea is brilliant! We spread our manure as well but without the benefit of a manure spreader. Great find for you.

  9. With all of those fabulous ingredients, it’s starting to sound like a granola bread – and I think your’s would be a first! How much would it cost me to have a loaf shipped out here to California? I’m serious! Please let me know!

  10. Loved how you’re rescuing abandoned farm machinery and returning them to their original purpose. And your bread planning session was a lot of fun. I do the same kinds of mental gymnastics.

    Today, I used sourdough starter (discard or active works) to make a batch of sesame seed flatbreads/crackers. I threw in toasted white sesame seeds and a bit of toasted sesame seed oil along with the veg oil and some cayenne pepper for kick. Just before that, I had taken a half batch of sourdough flour tortilla dough (some AP and some whole wheat flour along with the sourdough starter discard) from the freezer, thawed it out and made 8 tortillas with it to eat with the braised turkey thighs I made yesterday. I used the same Tex-Mex braising liquid that I use for making red pulled pork shoulder and filling tamales. Nothing goes to waste if I can make something useful with it.

  11. Muck is liquid gold on the land, it’s something you produce, not something to dispose of. I’m so glad to hear you’ve found a muck spreader to refurbish. As for the bread, how about chopped dried apricots and pumpkin seeds, delicious with soft cheese?

  12. I now have the urge to bake a fruit and nut loaf… thanks to your tip on almost freezing then thin slicing… make crostini amd eat it spread with cream cheese, maybe… more likely some soft blue cheese.

  13. *smile* I go so far back that ‘Big John’ and ‘TTT’ have become the ‘co-worker’ and the ‘strong son’ ! ‘The Tall Teenager’ obviously no longer is one . . .but has he left the army and come back to the farmy for good? As far as manure goes there is no way you can produce more of that than the other stuff going around . . . and unfortunately that one has no beneficial actions whatsoever for you or any of mankind . . .

    • The men around here prefer not to be discussed but I hear you the politics – they are changing the green card rules now- just as I am about to apply for a renewal – throwing everything into a void again- as usual : new requirements but no new staff to handle them. It is going to be interesting – expensive and interesting

      • May things go the way you want and need them to go . . . potentially ‘interesting’ is a ‘pale’ word to use . . . best !

  14. It sounds like something called Boston brown bread, but with yeast or sourdough as leavening. Google Boston Brown Bread…the one my mother made had some cornmeal in it, molasses and raisins and walnuts. Delicious with cream cheese.

  15. One major difference between using your ‘new’ spreader loaded from the manure pile and the ones who spray ‘slurry’ is the difference in the smell… Slurry has an atrocious stink and lasts for DAYS where, by comparison yours would be absolutely sweet and yes, gone in a couple of days; )

  16. Yep, Miss C! I’m serious about the bread! Just let me know when you’ve perfected that wonderful recipe!

  17. Sorry! Didn’t think about that! I’ve been out that way several times – train, bus, plane -…..I’ll just have to pay a visit to you and the farmy “folk” in an automobile. And I’m serious about that, too! Green bread – sounds like something Dr. Seuss would dream up to go along with his ‘green eggs and ham’! Have a great evening, Ceci !

  18. My family lived on a farm here in Kansas when I was little. My parents weren’t farmers but my dad restored things. He would buy old farm machinery like this and fix them up. He always finished them with new paint. He did beautiful work. I haven’t thought about that for a while. I wish I had pictures.

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