Monday, November 10, 2003

Remember, Remember

Saturday was the village fireworks and bonfire. This is a good place to get rid of the large bits of burnable waste that build up over the year. This time it was the results of pollarding an elder tree whose outer branches were mainly dead and some rotten. All the stuff <1" in section and the creeper growing up it were shredded and is now composting down in a dozen bin-liners in the garage, but the main branches were left intact - about a dozen or so pieces.

With a small car, this would be awkward to transport, so I usually tie the tow rope to big bits and just drag them the few hundred yards. But this year there were about a dozen such bits. So I sawed up the bits up to about 2" thickness to fit in the green wheelie-bin (which is now full again for the collection on the 21st), and only had half a dozen lumps, which went as one on each end of the rope, and one carried.

Other people were using trailers to bring in smaller amounts of hedge clippings and the like - exactly the sort of stuff I'd shred and compost myself, or, nowadays, put in the green bin.

And as Sunday started fine, it was also time to do something about the compost, as the previous two wet autumns had meant I'd not actually deployed any, and the bins were getting full to bursting - hence the overflow into the garage. The vegetable bed (apart from where the broccoli is growing) is now heavily layered with most of one heap, and the bed under the lilac tree that gets the full summer sun, and is generally parched and poor quality soit the rest, and much of another. Apart from a few feathers, that second pile has done a good job of reducing the carrion from uneaten cat kills (mainly pigeons and squirrels) to useful organic material.

I recall reading some years back a pathologist saying that the average compost heap was better than an acid bath for getting rid of unwanted bodies, and in the limited case at hand, I can say that he was right.

Now we have the green bins, input of prunings and grass clippings will reduce, except as to leaven the wet waste that isn't accepted - things like windfall apples from next-door's tree that always leaves a cider-smelling horizon in the bins - things may get more under control, though there is currently about a bin's worth of rotted material still to deploy, and two bins each about half-full of the un-rotted material from the tops of each heap, as well as the stuff from the garage.

Some of that latter will probably all go in the front garden, where the bed in the centre is almost sandy in texture, once the escholzia's finally stop flowering, and can be pulled up.

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