Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Invisible Turd Haunts City

Yesterday was the day of weirdness. Not only was it beautiful, but also when Portlanders stepped out of their doors in the late morning hours to enjoy the day, they found it was... stinky. My roommate, walking to work with her headphones on, had to laugh as she watched people on the street as, one after the other, they stopped, lifted one foot after the other, and checked to make sure they hadn't stepped in any dog poo (a too-common occurrence on Portland's dog-friendly streets). I did the same thing myself when I stepped outside -- 1. Stop. 2. Lift right foot. 3. Lift left foot. 4. Look over porch railing to see if someone laid a huge one in our side yard.

It turned out to be a farmer over in Westbrook (story here on WMTW-8's website), who spreads his fields each year with chicken manure in preparation for next year's crops. The wind was blowing just right for the odoriferous concoction to waft its stinky banner of stench all the way over to downtown Portland. Peeeeuw!

While it certainly was stinky, farm owner Llewellyn Rand's intentions are good. "'The commercial fertilizer is what these people would like, but that's where your cancers all come from -- the chemicals,' he said. Randal said that in years past, he used less odorous sludge from the South Portland Waste Facility as a fertilizer, but since that is no longer available to him, he is forced to use the chicken manure."

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