My friends the moles love to weave their labyrinthine magic sous-terre in my neighbouring farmer's field. Their relentless subterranean hunt for worms and other Invertebrae inevitably results in the creation of little hillocks of top quality, sieved and aerated weed free loam.
This is good stuff. Whenever I need some quality topsoil my pulse quickens as I look across the field to the lunar landscape created as a result of the antics of these wee beasties.
Armed with shovel and wheel barrow, I've spent the last couple of mornings to and 'fro-ing' across the bridge over the little river to this rich pasture shovelling and transporting mole hill soil.
I'm never happier. The weather last couple of days has been just perfect, temperatures in the mid teens, unbroken sunshine and barely a breath of wind. I feel so earthy (literally), I mean this is proper 'green' stuff, n'est ce pas?
Now while I'm thinking about it, I should point out that potentially this soil could be quite fertile. Jean-luc, the farmer and one of life's nice people keeps some 30 bullocks on his land. Big animals with big appetites creating big manure. All this inevitably works it's way back into the ground so it's my assumption that this is quite rich loam.
That aside and on a more serious note, it seems you'll do well to take note of what an animal is fed and where manure is sourced. I say this simply because of the recent contaminated manure scare in the UK. Some UK pasture land has been treated with aminopyralid, a selective, hormone type herbicide which when subsequently grazed has left chemical traces in some 'farmyard' manure. Needless to say, the green fingered and the good have applied this manure with gusto which sadly has resulted in damaged and distorted crop growth both to vegetables and ornamentals. Recently the Pesticide Safety Directory after consultation with the Food Standards Agency have given assurance that where there is a harvestable crop produce is safe to eat. Yum, yum (NOT)!
So back to my 'loaming roving' and I guess I've shipped back about 30 barrows of the stuff and duly scattered it around where needed. I've been a bit frugal on the annuals bed as I don't want the ground to be too nourished. I mean, ever wondered why your Cosmos grew to 12 feet with abundant lush growth yet the seed packet stated maximum height 4 feet? I'll keep a a decent pile of it back to mix with leaf mulch and compost to create a potting medium. Yep, I did say a potting medium. I might even call it 'Le Banquet no. 3' or similar, John Innes has been doing it for decades.
Finally, here's a great pic of a Mole courtesy of Wikipedia