March 23, 2009

A Pack of Poo

Bet the title of this post has you wondering, now doesn't it? A pack of poo actually refers to alpaca poop. That's right, alpaca....poop! I am quite proud to announce to you that we are now in possession of a "load" of some of the best-said richest, organic fertilizer available. And ours was FREE for the taking! Alpaca poop is called "beans" and it is similar to deer and rabbit poop in size and consistency. And the really cool thing about alpacas is that they poop in a communal pile, so it is not spread all over the place, and makes for easy cleanup for alpaca farmers!

Living out here in the west, it's pretty easy to find horse people and farmers who are willing to give away their livestock poop free for the hauling. A quick search on Craigslist this time of year will no doubt produce a few "free manure" posts a day. So, in keeping with the whole organic theme of gardening I hope to accomplish this year, I knew we needed to get our hands on some free poop to add to our gardens. Instead of taking advantage of the abundant horse poop in this area, I remembered our friends in Westcliffe who have an alpaca farm. Neal was headed that way Friday to meet our septic system guy and I proudly announced that I had a mission for him. He was less than thrilled about riding around with alpaca poop in his vehicle for an 80-mile journey, but being the good sport that he is, he agreed to the mission and prepared his Jeep for the task.

It just so happened that the day before he was to head out for the poop pickup, Neal spotted an old box in front of someone's house in our neighborhood with a "free" sign on it. Our first thought was that it would make a great container for my square foot gardening technique, but it soon became apparent that the box would make a wonderful container for the alpaca poop transport.
One man's treasure....you know?

Our alpaca farmer friends just scoop the poop everyday, pile it up in an area behind their barn and forget about it. What luck for us amateur gardeners who are willing to scoop, load and haul alpaca beans to spread among our prized, first-time gardens! Gardener's gold at at our fingertips! The word among the alpaca crowd is that alpaca beans are less smelly than normal livestock poop, but after sharing a tight cargo space with them for almost two hours, Farmer Neal is inclined to disagree. Regardless, I was ever-so-happy to have my "pack of poo" delivered to my doorstep by my loving husband. So much so that I dug my hands right into it (using gloves, of course!).

After I got over my excitement of receiving a free "pack of poo", I helped Neal unload and move our box of gardener's gold. There we dispersed and tilled it into my flower bed in the front yard and Neal's bean patch in the backyard. I made sure we saved enough poo to make alpaca poo tea fertilizer, which I will share with you in a future post. Bet you can't wait for that one!

7 comments:

jasperlilith said...

alpaca poo! i love it! we don't get that in texas, that is for sure :)

Lilla said...

Actually, I think alpaca farming is pretty popular in Texas. Keep your eyes and nose open and you just might score a free "load" yourself!

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I could use some of that for my raised beds. I don't know of any alpacas around here, but there are plenty of cows and chickens. Their poo works just fine.

JOE and JANE said...

I often poop in communal piles myself. They're usually in gas stations, hotels and restaurants and are labeled "Men." ---Joe

Lilla said...

SVB, I bet there are some alpaca farmers in your area. It's becoming a popular hobby for folks. Maybe an Internet search would turn up someone near you?

Joe, that is WAY more information than I needed to know!

jasperlilith said...

i will have to check out the alpaca farm situation - i guess i assumed it was too hot here for them...

Mike said...

A communal poop pile is only a myth. We have 33 critters, separated by gender and age. Girls in one barn and area, older boys in one barn and area, and young boys in one barn and area. With the set up we have, we have 11 poop piles to clean up twice a day. Any ways, Spittin' Image Alpacas is located in Northeastern Ohio, and we have all the poop you could want or ever need. Bring a dump truck and loader with you, and the poop is all yours. Alpaca poop itself does not smell bad, but the urine that is normally sprinkled on it during the proccess does. Visit our farm page on AlpacaNation at:
http://www.alpacanation.com/farmsandbreeders/03_viewfarm.asp?name=11059

Talkin poop from Ohio,
Mike