Spreading, spreading, spreading…

Springtime on the farm is buuu-sy! And, it means a lot of changes – cows, broilers, and pigs out on pasture, new calves, eggmobiles, planting seeds, annnd spreading compost… LOTS of compost – compost from the cattle and pigerators in the barn, compost from the rabbits and chickens in the hoop houses, and offal compost. Everything that has been building up over the winter gets cycled around and ends up back in the fields.


Goin’ ’round, and ’round, and ’round

With each load of compost, we add one bag of Fertrell Jersey Greensand, a bucket full of Planters II and a bucket of ash. We add these things while Daniel or Eric run the loader to fill up the spreaders. Then, we’re quickly off the to field! Currently, we have three spreaders. If you’re lucky, you can catch Joel working a spreader from time to time. Although, generally, it’s the apprentices who run them. So with three of us, it works perfect!


Here, you can see the minerals we add to the compost.

As of right now, we’ve spread over a hundred loads within the past two weeks. And, there’s lots more to come! So, here’s to springtime at Polyface! 😀

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About Miriam Gust

Miriam grew up among the lakes of beautiful central Minnesota and is the youngest of four. She is devoted to serving her King Jesus, and she finds great joy in spending time outside (especially while farming and hunting!) and in simply sharing a cup of coffee with friends or family. She looks forward to continuing to learn and grow at Polyface and is eager to trust the Lord with whatever the future may hold.
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4 Responses to Spreading, spreading, spreading…

  1. fothsharp says:

    So when we move our very first-ever batch of broilers out onto the pasture this week, the pine shavings and droppings from the brooder can go into the vegetable garden (mixed with some of the ash from our wood stove)? Or would it be better to scatter this onto the pasture?

    • Miriam Gust says:

      Good question! We don’t actually clean out all our brooder bedding after each new batch. Instead, we just mix up the old stuff with pitch forks and add a layer of fresh, new sawdust. Then, at the end of the season, we clean the brooder out completely to the concrete. This year that bedding was pretty dry still, so we spread it in one of our barns for extra bedding there. After cows and pigerators spent the winter in that barn, we spread that compost on pasture. When all was said and done, it ended up being mixed with hay, peanut hulls, corn, and cow and pig manure. So, if your bedding is still pretty dry (which I’d imagine it is), I’d think about continuing to compost it! Otherwise, spread the compost wherever you think needs more soil buildup and nutrients 🙂

  2. Leilani says:

    You guys are a huge source of inspiration and motivsation for me! We are working to keep our resources on the farm and are already seeing improvement in our pastures and garden. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. You guys truely show what I like to call “The Heart of a Teacher”.

  3. Kristin says:

    Now THAT’S the fun stuff. We just did this with some of our old, dirty cow hay the other day. A friend helped us and it was really quite enjoyable.