Friday, November 07, 2008

Garden Views: Manure as Art

Because no one else has our life experience (real, dreamed, or imagined), knowledge base, and interests, we are our own endless source of material. We have only to look inside ourselves to find it. Take, for example, manure. Garden writers write all sorts of things about manure and compost: How to make it; how to use it; how to store it. But when I found out about seedling pots made of cow manure, it struck an inner cord. It called out to all my interests --- gardening in general, growing plants from seeds, sustainable systems, reducing the use of fossil fuels, the survival of small-scale farming, and the concept of how we can make waste material of any kind into something useful.

I could write from childhood experience about my love of cows, the thrill of talking with the inventor of CowPots,™ the green aspects of the farm’s self-contained system, the gardening benefits of using the pots, and, because I wrote this as a blog post, I could inject a note of my own peculiar sense of humor. To see the story, click

650 fellow garden writers were exposed to this same product at the Garden Writers Symposium, so I’m sure that some of them will write about it. But not in the same way I did.

Next time you’re having a conversation about something that really resonates with you, think about why. What parts of it connected to something else inside of you? Figure out how you can put those parts together to make something new. VoilĂ ! A unique piece of art.

Lois de Vries' thoughts on gardening and environmental issues run the gamut from gardening in her own back yard to promoting land management practices that reconnect people to the Earth. Lois is seeking a publisher for her book, The Transformational Power of Gardening. Visit her blog at

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