Hello! Karen Wolfgang here, co-founder of Independence Gardens LLC, a Portland, Oregon business that helps people grow their own food.
So, how do friendly garden animal t-shirts support that goal?
At the top of the list of sustainable gardening best practices is this: feed your soil well, because healthy soil makes healthy plants. And good soil food includes ample organic matter, such as compost, worm castings, and animal manure (yes, doo!).
The original Chicken Shirt was a holiday gift for our own birds’ dedicated chickensitter. The well-received, slightly off-color joke inspired us to think increasingly deeply about how animals contribute to our gardens, and then to use t-shirts to spread that understanding.
Friendly garden animals provide great soil amendments as well as many other goods: pollination, pest control, invasive plant removal, and more.
Our tees support and encourage gardeners who welcome these allies, and delight (and inform!) everyone else. We thoroughly enjoy wearing our Doo Tees in the garden and beyond, and couldn’t be happier to share them with you.
Cattle are very large, and they produce a large volume of manure. The rich poop is composted commercially and commonly made available as a standalone soil amendment or part of a balanced soil blend for growing gardens.
Chicken “shirt” is a high-nitrogen manure that should be composted before it’s used in the garden. But what a powerhouse amendment! It’s a natural fit: keep a few hens for fresh eggs, and use their leavings to nourish your plants.
The first Doo Tee that doesn’t reference poop shows arguably the most important friendly garden animal: from Mason bees to “tickle” bees to honey bees, these sensitive insects are an absolute must in a sustainable garden.
Another big animal that makes quite a bit of helpful doo! Horse puckey is often full of undigested seedheads, which can make it challenging to use in the garden. But there’s always plenty of it...and used carefully, it can’t be beat.
Goat poo drops in pellets, meaning it’s safe for immediate use in the garden. But goats are high-ranking garden allies for another reason: they have varied and voracious appetites, making them invaluable invasive plant removers.
Bat doo (a.k.a. guano) is mined from bat caves and sold commercially. It is an all-star organic amendment, but source matters: old guano is a limited resource, as many bat populations are threatened by disease and development.