I grew up in the Fraser Valley, we moved to a brand new subdivision nestled in some of the most beautiful fertile farmland in the world. The valley is surrounded by mountains and our neighbourhood was surrounded on all sides by water including the mighty Fraser river and a series of sloughs and creeks. Besides all of the new houses and streets carved into what was formerly acres and acres of farmland there were also working farms, horses, cornfields and cows, lots of cows. Fortunately when they decided to subdivide this beautiful land they chose to keep a lot of it as it was, forever. Behind our back fence there was fields, fields of corn or corn stubble or cows, lots of cows. When the cows weren't grazing in the field they were in the barn or when the corn was growing in the field the cows lived at the farmers barn at his house abou 1/4 mile down the road.
Lots of cows means lots of cow shit. When the cows were living in the barn the farmer would gather all the shit and put it in some sort of holding tank. I was never in 4H or anything so I don't know what the farmer did to the shit to make it liquified but before the field was tilled and planted there would be a period of a couple of weeks when the farmer would spread his liquid gold on the field. Along came the Honey Wagon.
The Honey Wagon was a lime green contraption pulled behind the tractor that literally flung liquid cow shit in a majestic arc for a good 20 feet behind it. The farmer had so much shit that the field would get many, many layers. My Dad used to say that it was really the only way for the farmer to deal with the amount of poo the cows produced and was really more about trying to get rid of it than the positive effects it had on the corn field. The corn the farmer grew in that field was inedible to humans, it was called "cow corn" and it was chopped up and used to feed the cows. That's right it's The Circle Of Life, start humming cheesy Elton John song.....now.
I wish I could describe the eye watering stench that we had to put up with during this time. It was a choking, pungent, cloying smell and just when you thought you couldn't stand it any more it got stronger. You could actually tase it in the air. And yet, I think we kind of got used to it. I only started to complain about it after I had moved away from home and would go back to visit my parents. I could hardly stand it.
To this day I can not drive by a field of cows without honking. I honk the whole time I'm driving by and those cows hardly ever even look up. Smelly jerks.
I also cannot drive past a golf course without honking, but that's another story.
Does anybody feel like a burger?