My brother’s downstairs neighbor raises laying hens in their backyard. He was kind enough to let me harvest some manure to apply in the garden. Ah, nature’s fertilizer. Used wisely, manure can be a farmer’s best friend. It helps improve soil structure by adding organic matter. And, while most of its nutrients are released within the first year of being applied, the remaining nutrients become available in the second year, providing a nice extended release. Applying manure in the Fall allows plenty of time for it to break down before any crops are harvested.