Friday, April 30, 2010


This afternoon Tanya, Lena and I drove to Erastivka Research Station, about 50 km from here, to get three big plastic bags full of well rotted horse manure for Tanya's flowers and tomatoes.  That is not what Tanya calls it but we are working on that.  Apparently some English words are easier to remember than others.

Erastivka, which also includes an agricultural technical school, is located by the village of Lozuvatka about 15 km east of P'yatikhatki.  It is a satellite of the Plant Breeding Institute located in Dnipropetrovs'k where Tanya was working when we first met.  There are 7 satellite research stations of the central Institute and in those days they all had dairy cattle and pigs along with supporting feed production to provide milk, beef and pork to the staff at the research stations.  Tanya was in charge of all the livestock operations on the farms.  She did the annual production and financial budgets and oversaw the livestock specialists in charge at the various farms.

Which is why she has an in with the livestock specialist at Erastivka who supervises the horse herd.  The station breeds horses to sell to local villagers as light draught animals.  We got three bags of black top soil from a manure pile that was at least 10 or 15 years old.

We had to stop in P'yatikhatki at the flower market (of course) and Tanya bought 9 big double  petunias in colours she had not seen before.  When she got in the car she commented "Maxim will just die".  Apparently he phones his grandmother two or three times in the week to see if Tanya has any new flowers.  Tonight after school he and his mom came out on the minibus and he by-passed his grandmother to come to see what Tanya had done this week.  It grates on him that Tanya now has better flower beds than his Babushka so Tanya loves to rub it in.

I threatened to give him three of the petunias.  Tanya threatened to kill me.


  1. love this post. I work in a garden I am a huge fan of manure :) Here in Maryland we have huge amounts of clay in our soil, so the combo of manure and peat is needed to break down the clay for drainage. I do hope you will post photos of the gardens!

  2. Ahhhhhh. Life can be SO good when the thing that pleases you the most is a truck full of horse sh*t and a few petunias....

  3. I love that she only can remember horse sh*t. That is awesome. And also, typical.

  4. I find it amazing how plants suck the nutrients out of manure and turn it into a flower or a tomato. Of course I prefer not to think about that when eating the tomato.

    BTW, I like your new Kiev clock.

  5. Airman Mom - today's post is for you. I'll try to keep a two week schedule of how the garden grows.
    Dana - She loves the simple things in life. Like me.
    May-B - she is at home with either word but why spoil a good story with inconvenient facts. Al Gore didn't.
    DC - "You put manure on your strawberries? I put sugar on mine and they call me crazy".
    I stole the clock idea from Airman Mom.


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