Mothers do a lot of things out of love. Currently, I am storing poop-sicles in my freezer, for my son Scott. You read that right. Why in the world would I have little bags of frozen cow shit tucked in the frosty nether regions of my deep freeze? Well, apparently poop is very fragile. At least its fragile in the sense of how long it will maintain the phosphorous load it carries. Scott is gathering data for a phosphorous and soils study being conducted by researchers at Virginia Tech. His job is to contact area farmers, visit their farms and collect soil samples, hay samples, grass samples and manure samples. The first three are fairly easy to obtain, but the manure samples require that he follow a cow around the field in question and scoop up a freshly plopped pile. So, Scott has spent more than one afternoon trailing a herd of cows as he waits for one to raise her tail. As soon as the warm dung is deposited, he rushes in and scoops up a small sample which he tucks into a tubular bag. Each sample is labeled as to point of origin. When he has enough samples he rushes them back to the freezer where they are held until he has enough to send on to the lab. The results of the study will be used to determine the impact that farm feeds and hay production practices have on the watershed.
Before you come to eat dinner at my house, you need to know that the bags are stored in a box and are not in contact with any of the food in my freezer. So, there is no cross contamination. But, if you decide you’re hot and want a popsicle, let me warn you, there’s no such thing as a chocolate freezie pop.