As far as rites of passage go, it must rank up there with my first kiss or being given my first razor. I’d even go as far as saying that it’s more life changing than reaching the age of 18, or getting my driving licence. Yes, as a slow-life craving 26-year-old, I eventually gave in to buying manure.
Now, I’ve bought lots of crap before – just ask my long-suffering girlfriend who has to share a joint account with me – but I’ve never been able to grow veg with it. I’ve been able to keep it in piles, definitely, but there was never the option to spread it out in the garden – at least not without the threat of a visit from the local council. But now my horizons are truly open.
Not only was I able to order the stuff over the Net – a truly liberating experience that hid me from any embarrassing situations involved with talking about manure– but at the same time I could order marigold seeds and give no-one the chance to question my sexuality. And before anyone questions the purchase of marigold seeds, I should add that they’re apparently very good, along with sweet peas, for bringing insects to my garden. Bumblebee heaven awaits me (I promise to build a bee box, I promise…), as does a beautiful crop of peas.
So I’m now a real gardener, of a sort. The plot is set, the dirt has been dished and the muck has been ordered. And I now await the moment when reality strikes, when a kind delivery man hands over three bags of manure. And I finally ask myself, do I really have to touch it?