XENIA, Ohio (AP) _ A man hoeing his carrot garden unearthed a ring a friend lost six years ago on a farm six miles away.

''I didn't know what it was right away,'' Barry Stroop said. ''I hit something metal and picked it up, brushed the dirt away and brought it in.''

Stroop, who made his discovery July 21, remembered that his friend, Woody Lott, had lost a man's gold diamond ring. He wore the band to Lott's home that evening.

''I couldn't believe it,'' Lott said. ''When he handed it to me, I knew right away it was my ring.''

Lott lost the ring, a family heirloom, in 1985 at his mother's farm.

''The only thing I can think is one of the cows either ate it or picked it up in its hoof and carried it away,'' Lott said.

Lott twice a year carts manure to Stroop's garden for fertilizer.