Dairy farmers know a thing or two about almost everything. They are typically jack-of-all-trades types, experts in everything from animal nutrition to machinery mechanics to food safety. In addition to caring for their animals, families, and land, many also tend a garden. It is hard to imagine how they find time for such things, but when you experience the joy of growing something from seed and sharing it with your family, it’s easy to see why farmers somehow make time for gardening as a soul-satisfying activity.
Dairy farmer Gregory Stebbins nibbles beans fresh from his garden in Enosburg Falls, VT.
Perhaps the garden helped Stebbins foster a love for the land in his sons and grandson.
For us green thumb wannabes, look no further than your local dairy farm for the secret to a successful garden: composted cow manure. Composted cow manure makes a great soil amendment. Many dairy farmers sell this and other gardening supplies at their farm stands, including Barstow’s Longview Farm in Hadley, MA (recently featured in The Republican!), Great Brook Farm in Carlisle, MA and Freund’s Farm Market in East Canaan, CT. Have you tried composted cow manure in your garden? Here’s a link to some tips for spring gardening in New England, or, of course, just ask a farmer!