Special thanks to Storey Publishing for providing a review copy of this book. This post may contain affiliate links.
If you have animals, you have manure. If you have horses or other large livestock, then you have tons of manure. According to the book, two horses (like we have) would produce, on average, 18 tons of manure a year. Given how much manure we clean up daily, I have no doubt that this stat is spot on.
In Managing Manure, Mark Kopecky talks about the properties of different types of manure as well as a variety of ways to handle the manure. He goes into the best practices for spreading manure or composted/rotted manure. I particularly liked the breakdown of the nutrients in manure and how to maximize their use in the garden or on the land depending on the size of your property.
Managing manure can be a tricky endeavor in the desert, so I was a little disappointed that it didn’t dive into that aspect of composting manure. It mainly covered the typical “don’t let it get too wet” aspect that is an issue is most of the U.S. This, truthfully, isn’t abnormal as most people do need to deal with lots of rain, but that isn’t our problem here.
Kopecky covers everything from small backyard manure management to large ranch manure management. It includes small animals (like chickens) all the way up to large livestock (like cattle and horses). While most of the information contained in the book is available through a variety of sources already, he did a good job of assembling and breaking down the information in easy to understand section that included charts for quick access to important details.
Managing Manure is one of 3 new books in the Basics Books for Self-Reliance line from Storey Publishing. The other 2 books include How to Build a Fence and Growing Christmas Trees. Seeing how I want to add some pine trees to our homestead, the information on choosing the best site, preparing the soil, selecting tree species, and planting and maintaining the trees is perfect for me even if I don’t plan on having a Christmas tree farm. Knowing how to build a variety of fences is always a plus as you never know when you’re going to need to build a fence to keep critters out of your garden or away from those new trees.
Managing Manure Book Details:
- February 2015
- 112 pages; 5″x7″
- One-color; illustrations throughout
- Paper $9.95
- ISBN: 978-1-61212-365-3
A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful… ~Pam Brown~
The graduation had passed, so it was time to celebrate with friends and family. Given that we’re gluten free, the entire celebration was, obviously, gluten free. I wanted things that I could, for the most part, make ahead of time, so I wouldn’t be as rushed on Saturday.
We started off our meal with lasagna, salads in a jar, and fruit salad. We kept the beverages simple with water and coffee/tea from the Keurig.
The dessert table featured the fossil sugar cookies, strawberry cheesecake, and the fossil cake. I also put some of the candy chocolate rocks in cups for people to munch on – if desired. The dessert table was also the display table for her diploma, graduation certificate, graduation program, graduation picture, and a couple of other pictures including her kindergarten graduation picture.
I didn’t want to make a traditional sheet cake for Munchkin’s graduation, so, going along with her love of dinosaurs and paleontology, I made a dinosaur/fossil themed cake. It was a double layer cake with vanilla cake for the bottom layer and chocolate cake for the top layer. I made a homemade butter cream frosting. The dinosaur fossils were made using a T-Rex ice cube fossil mold and a Triceratops ice cube fossil mold (affiliate links) with white chocolate. The rocks are a variety of chocolate rocks from Kimmie Candy (affiliate link). The cake, which was actually eaten the following day since everyone was stuffed from all of the other food, was a hit.
I made the fossil sugar cookies by pressing a silicone stamp into the warm, freshly baked cookies. If you try to do the mold prior to baking, it doesn’t show up with these particular cookies. It might work with a firmer cookie like a flourless peanut butter cookie.
It’s hard to believe that a little over a week has passed since Munchkin graduated from high school. While our homeschool journey has come to an end, learning will never end. We’re already preparing for college and other learning endeavors.
Graduation day started a bit early for us as we had to travel to the graduation venue. Even though it made for a long day, I was glad they did the rehearsal and ceremony on the same day. We met up with family for lunch at Chick-fil-a before dropping Munchkin off for the rehearsal. Munchkin had fun getting to know some of the other homeschoolers in the rather large group.
After picking her up, we headed out for pizza before meeting up with Grandpa, Grandma, and my sister to get ready for the ceremony. (They stayed at a hotel near the graduation venue which made it easy for us to get ready and be able to relax for a few minutes before heading back over there.)
We stopped for a few pictures prior to Munchkin checking in. It really was a beautiful day. After she checked in, we headed to find and save seats. We had a good sized group, so we wanted to make sure we had enough seating for everyone to be together.
The ceremony itself was beautiful. I can honestly say that it was the nicest graduation ceremony that I have ever attended even if it did run a little long. Between the music, speeches, slideshow, and walk, it was… special… and a perfect way to end our homeschool journey. I am so thankful that so many family members were able to make it.
Our late night ended when we pulled up to our place and took care of the animals before heading to bed. Our graduate made her way to bed and happily slept in the next day.
This week, due to graduation and guests, I took a break from my 21 Day Fix program. Friday was Munchkin’s graduation. Saturday was her open house, and we needed to prepare for all of our guests as well as get everything together for the open house. Sunday and Monday we spent time with visiting family. Tuesday, we headed over to the Grand Canyon. Wednesday and Thursday we finished up our goodbyes to visiting family. Needless to say, it was a busy week.
I quickly found that if I didn’t do any exercise after having consistently exercised almost daily for 2 months I felt out of sorts, so I needed to find ways to get in exercise. Most days, in addition to the daily activities, I took the dogs for long walks in the mornings. They loved it and began to expect it every day when I woke up. It was a good way to start the day while not disturbing our guests.
Obviously, Tuesday found us at the Grand Canyon where we did some walking and a short hike into the canyon. Here, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had no issues with that short hike into the canyon. This is the same type of hike where I had struggled with the trek back up previously. That was a major accomplishment that truly made me happy.
Physical labor around the property also helped keep me moving. I liked that I was able to move around heavier items than I had previously been able to move. It’s these little things that really encourage me to keep going on my current path and make me smile. D and I had several fist bump moments throughout the week.
A few of the things that I worked on this week: keep moving, hydrate, and continue to eat healthy. I knew that I would have a few more sweets this week, but I tried to make a healthier version of all of the foods. The only thing that wouldn’t fall in the healthy category would be the cake, but I kept my portion on the small side.
Overall, the only real failure this week was the lack of sleep, and there wasn’t really a way around that. I think everyone felt the ramifications of not getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, Munchkin and I ended up sick (as did a few other visiting family members), so we’re trying to get healthy again.