A few weeks ago, I paid a visit to a pair of adorable donkeys named Daisy and Violet. This mother daughter duo lives in a quaint little pasture owned by my lovely friend, Ewa, and her family.

Before the big day arrived, I mentioned our upcoming visit to my Dutch mother-in-law, born and raised in the vicinity of Amsterdam. She recollected that local farmers kept donkeys to discourage predators from skulking around. Ewa nodded when I told her about our conversation. Her family’s dogs have already received a lesson in not messing with Daisy.

Daisy is mugging for the camera and hoping for another handful of grass.

In addition to their cuteness factor, Daisy and Violet gift Ewa’s family with an abundance of manure. Being acquainted with our passion for urban homesteading, Ewa invited my husband and I to drop by and pick up a few buckets of donkey manure. We promptly took her up on that offer!

Violet can’t be coaxed much closer. Any second, she’ll jet off for another sprint around the pasture.

We’re accustomed to spreading chicken manure—a bit smelly and wet. The donkey manure is so different. It dries up or ‘cures’ within a few weeks and resembles peat moss. This is great news for our heavy soil. Another up side of the donkey manure is the absence of a strong odour.

Once spread on the garden, we layered it with grass and mulched leaves. The worms will do their work and next spring, we’ll have nitrogen replenished soil—a nice base for another great crop!

Thanks so much, Ewa! And thanks also to Daisy and Violet!!

PS Ewa and I became acquainted through our writing community and quickly bonded over chickens. (That’s a whole other story.)