Compost, Dung, Mulch, Shit, Garbage, Clippings

Compiled by Karen and Mike Garofalo
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California 

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If a garden require it, now trench it ye may,
one trench not a yard, from another go lay;
Which being well filled with muck by and by,
to cover with mould, for a season to lie.
-  Thomas Tusser, 1557


"Nature does have manure and she does have roots as well as blossoms, and you can't hate the manure and blame the roots for not being blossoms."
-  Buckminster Fuller


"The practice of intensive manuring emerged as the dominant mark of the Chinese system.  All human and animal nitrogenous wastes were carefully husbanded in large terra-cotta vats where they were aged, and then ladled into irrigation ditches.  Every 2,000 pounds of night soil provided 12.7 pounds of nitrogen, 4 pounds of potassium, and 1.7 pounds of phosphorus.  Ashes were added to this compost from any kind of fire."
-  Edwin T. Morris, The Gardens of China, 1983
   Farmers of Forty Centuries:  Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea and Japan.    F. H. King. 


"If the grass on the other side of the fence appears greener... it must be all the fertilizer they are using."
-  Kevin Rodowicz


Sometimes you have to step in it to learn how to avoid it.
-  Anonymous


"Over fertilized plants may be beautiful but are otherwise useless, like people whose energies are devoted so completely to their appearance that there is no other development."
-  William Longgood 


"Horse manure is for stiff and cold ground; sheeps for hot and dry; ashes for cold, stiff and moist; old woolen rags for poor and dry; lyme is most excellent for moorish and heathy land; hair of beasts for dry and stiff ground; pigeons and poultrie-manure for cold and moist; rotten saw dust for dry; rubbish of buildings for stiff cold grounds; salt for cold and moist but use it moderately, for it destroys vegetables on dry ground, especially at first, but when melte by winter rains, it fertilizeth."
-  John Reid,  The Scot's Gardener, 1600


"A fool looks for dung where the cow never browsed."
-  Proverb from Ethiopia


"The longer I live the greater is my respect for manure in all its forms."
-  Elizabeth von Arnim  



Recommended Reading
Compost, Dung, Mulch, Shit, Refuse, Clippings, Garbage, Composting

Conservation - Quotes for Gardeners

Earth, Soil, Rocks - Quotes for Gardeners

Guide to Mulch



"You can tell how high a society is by how much of its garbage is recycled."
-  Tahanie 


"Earth knows no desolation.
She smells regeneration in the moist breath of decay."
-  George Meredith 


"Money is lie manure: It's not worth anything unless you spread it around."
-  Author Unknown 


"Manure and wood ashes settled villages.
The living produce the living, the dead decay into compost. 
While digging, dozens of worms were sliced down - victims of friendly fire. 
Dearly respect the lifestyle of worms. 
Some animals are always busy cleaning up the dung and dead.  
The living stand on the dead. 
Gratefully, shit happens!
-  Mike Garofalo, Pulling Onions  


The earth neither grows old or wears out if it is dunged.
-  Columella, circa 45 A.D. 


"Where there is no strife there is decay: The mixture which is not shaken decomposes."
-  Heraclitus


"The main characteristic of Nature's farming can therefore be summed up in a few words.  Mother earth never attempts to farm without live stock; she always raises mixed crops; great pains are taken to preserve the soil
and to prevent erosion; the mixed vegetable and animal wastes are converted into humus; there is no waste; the processes of growth and the processes of decay balance one another; ample provision is made to maintain large
reserves of fertility; the greatest care is taken to store the rainfall; both plants and animals are left to protect themselves against disease."
-  Sir Albert Howard, An Agricultural Testament, 1940


"However small your garden, you must provide for two of the serious gardener's necessities, a tool shed and a compost heap.  A wire bin takes up negligible space and can be concealed by shrubs, or you can make a small pit into which you sweep leaves and clippings, but try not to fall into it."
-  Anne Scott-James, Down to Earth 


"In my beginning is my end.  In succession
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth
Which is already flesh, fur and faeces, 
Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf."
-  T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets: East Coker



"Shit" may be the most functional word in the English language:

Gardeners know all about bull shit, horse shit, and chicken shit.
They might be lucky shits, dumb shits, crazy shits, or have shit for brains.

They know that some nights are colder than shit,
and some days are hotter than shit,
and other days are just plain shitty.

Gardeners all throw or sling shit, shoot the shit, occasionally catch some shit,
or duck when the shit hits the fan.

You had better give a shit,
and get your shit together;
or you will find yourself in deep shit,
smelling like shit,
treated like shit,
and end up being shit out of luck.

Once you know your shit, you don't need to know anything else,
and you'll be has happy as a pig in shit;
if you don't, you'll be told to shit or get off the pot,
told that you don't know the difference between shit and shine'ola,
served shit on a shingle,
and told you look like shit.


You can smoke some shit,
drink until your shit faced,
buy some more shit,
feel like shit,
look like shit,
and find yourself in a boat load or mountain of shit.

You can have too much shit,
not enough shit, the right shit,
the wrong shit,
or a lot of weird shit.

Shit Happens!

-  Mike Garofalo's Version of "Shit Happens!"



Agnostic #1: Shit might have happened; then again, maybe not.
Agnostic #2: What is this shit? 
Alcoholics Anonymous: Shit happens - one day at a time!
Atheism #1: Religion causes a lot of bad shit to happen. 
Atheism #2: I canít believe this shit!
Buddhism: Shit will happen, keep a clear mind.   
Calvinism: Shit happens because you donít work.
Capitalism: Thatís MY shit.
Catholicism #1: If shit happens, you deserve it. 
Catholicism #2: Follow the rules for shitting, and God is checking on you.   
Christian Science: When shit happens, donít call a doctor - pray!
Christian Science #2: Shit happening is all in your mind. 
Commercialism: Letís package this shit.
Communism: Itís everybodyís shit.
Confucianism: Confucius say, ďShit happens.Ē 
Congregationalist: Shit that happens to one person is just as good as shit that happens to another.
Creationism: God made all shit, and the shit fossils are meaningless. 
Democrats: Tax and spend the shit on people.  
Darwinism: This shit was once food. 
Episcopalian: Itís not so bad if shit happens, as long as you serve the right wine with it. 
Existentialism #1: Shit doesnít happen; shit IS.
Existentialism #2: What is shit, anyway?
Feminism #1: Men dump their shit on us, and we have to clean it up. 
Feminism #2: Men are Shit. 
Fundamentalism#1: If shit happens, you will go to hell, unless you are born again. (Amen!)
Fundamentalism #2: If shit happens to a televangelist, itís okay.
Gardener: Shit helps plants grow. 
Hare Krishna: Shit happens, rama rama.
Hedonism: There is nothing like a good shit in the morning after coffee.
Hinduism: This shit has happened before.  
Judaism: Why does this shit always happen to us?  
Idolism: Letís bronze this shit.
Impressionism: From a distance, shit looks like a garden.
Islam #1: If shit happens, it is the will of Allah.
Islam #2: If shit happens, kill the woman responsible.
Islam #3: If shit happens, blame Israel. 
Jehovahís Witnesses #1: >Knock< >Knock< Shit happens. 
Jehovahís Witnesses #2: May we have a moment of your time to show you some of our shit?
Jehovahís Witnesses #3: Shit has been prophesied and is imminent; only the righteous shall survive its happening.
Lutheran: If shit happens, donít talk about it.
Male Chauvinism #1:  We may be shit, but you can't live without us. 
Male Chauvinism #2:  Shit!  Honey, you forgot to buy more beer!
Methodist: Itís not so bad if shit happens, as long as you serve grape juice with it. 
Moonies: Only really happy shit happens.
Mormonism #1: God sent us this shit.
Mormonism #2: This shit is going to happen again. 
Nihilism: No shit!
Practical: Deal with shit one day at a time.
Presbyterian: This shit was bound to happen.
Protestantism: Let shit happen to someone else.  
Quakers: Let us not fight or kill over this shit. 
Rastafarianism: Letís smoke this shit!  
Republicans:  Spend like its shit and go into incredible debt to Wall Street and China.  
Scientology: If shit happens, see ďDianeticsĒ, p.157.
Secular Humanism: Somtimes shit is good for folks, and sometimes not - let commonsense decide.
Seventh Day Adventism: No shit shall happen on Saturday. 
Stoicism: This shit is good for me.
Taoism: Shit happens in both the yang and yin phases. 
Unitarian: Shit that happens to one person is just as bad as shit that happens to another.  
Unitarianism: Come let us reason together about this shit. 
Utopianism: This shit does not stink. 
Wiccan: An it harm none, let shit happen.
Zen Buddhism: Shit is, and is not.
Zen Buddhism #2: What is the sound of shit happening? 
Zoroastrianism: Shit happens half of the time.



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The Spirit of Gardening Website

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       From January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2010
This webpage has been online since February of 1999. 
Compiled by Karen Garofalo and Mike Garofalo from Red Bluff, California

This webpage was last updated on September 29, 2012.    

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