I have just returned from a fabulously enriching time raising, preparing and spreading Preparation 500. The day couldn’t have been nicer, beautiful cloudless blue skies and a hint of a breeze coming off the lake at Glendhu Station. Stunning to say the least. It’s funny how Glendhu makes you feel like you’re in another place, when in actual fact you’re just out of Wanaka.

A quick run down on preparation 500:

Preparation 500 is cow manure packed into a cow horn and then buried in the ground for a year, where it ferments with the enzymes in the cow horn and when mature becomes a potent fertilizer.

First off we dug up the cow horns buried from the previous year.

Then we set about preparing preparation 500.  A small amount of the fermented cow poo (500) is stirred into rain water.  The recommended amount is 25gms of 500 to 13 litres of water for a 1 acre block. It is important to stir this mixture for an hour using a special method of stirring in one direction to create a vortex then quickly changing direction – thus creating chaos, this aerates and adds energy to the mixture.

Thank goodness there were a few of us to share the job, it became a nice social time, a bit of conversation or a relax under a nearby tree and everyone puts a little of themselves into the mix.  If you only have a small area to do you can do a small amount in a bucket.

Our next job was to applying preparation 500. I found this to be another fun and relaxing activity to do.

Once the stirring  was complete,we all filled a bucket with the mixture, and using an old paintbrush or hearth brush we wondered around flicking the liquid onto the ground in the same manner as the pope would sprinkle holy water around a church. It couldn’t be easier.

I for one came away feeling completely relaxed and at one with the universe. A combination of beautiful Wanaka weather, good ole fashion camaraderie, and a sense that you have put something good back into the enviroment.  What a fantastic way to end the first month of 2012.

And to top it off – we all got to take some preparation 500 home with us to use on our own pieces of paradise.  Guess what I will doing this evening, the only difference being that I will be doing it with a glass of wine. Life couldn’t be more perfect

Don’t forget about next months workshop. Stay tuned and be sure to join us in our compost tea party.