Sunday, 8 July 2007


Quentin did a wonderful job on the mulcher for much less money and in much less time so today is the day to slash the arrowroot and mulch it to make the beginnings of a new compost heap. Of course there is always a 'before' with any job - before I could mulch the arrowroot I had to mulch the huge pile of bottlebrush that we pruned last week, as it had been in the way all week. It was still lovely and green - perfect for the compost construction - but it was also very wet from the week's rain. Oh well, after a few minutes I was saturated too but all in the name of progress !

Standing there feeding it all through made me think about the sense of it all - the petrol, the time, the purpose etc. Some people complain that you start with a huge pile of stuff and you end up with a small bag of mulch and that it has taken you ages. Think of the time involved in the growing of the greenery you are mulching - many years usually - and the time it would take to break down unmulched - also years. Then there is the formation of the oil to make the petrol - millions of years, and the time involved in mining the ore to get the raw materials to make the mulcher. Really, the bit of effort and the time we put in at the end is nothing and, after a couple of months the compost process has delivered us a perfect product to grow our vegies in. It is dreadful that we use fuel at all to grow our food but it is infinitely better to use a little petrol to mulch garden prunings than it is to subscribe to the wholesale slaughter of the environment and the guzzling of fuels and chemicals associated with broadacre agriculture. So, I relaxed about the whole thing and enjoyed watching the clouds drift over and even a little patch of sun on my back and by the end of the morning that part of the job is done.

I can sit here now, with my cup of tea, and gather some more energy to finish making 1 cubic metre of compost.....if only I could get over this cough.

I discovered some interesting things in session 2. First, after lugging all the arrowroot stalks from the bottom of the hill all the way to the top - this took about 5 trips (I don't need a gym) - I discovered that arrowroot is very fibrous, even when so fresh, and clogs up the mulcher in 2 minutes flat !!! Bugger, bugger, bugger and a lot of other things too... 6 weeks of waiting, for nothing ! I threw them all in the chook yard, very hard and very angrily. The chooks looked askance at me and ran off squawking.

OK, plan B. I gathered up all the stuff around the place that could possibly go into a compost heap - sodden bags of chook manure from Urrbrae School (they told me it was sheep - bugger again !), old bales of peastraw, bags of vegie garden scraps, a half decomposed mess from a Geddye bin, the rest of the freshly mulched bottlebrushes and piled it all up to a wonderful height. In fact I didn't need the arrowroot anyway. Now it is all cosily covered in straw and my back is ruined, but I forgot about my cough.

I hope my heap will look like this in a few days.

You know you have had a hard day when you have 2 pairs of stinking, wet jeans in the laundry and mulch in your undies ! Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Hi Kate you were doing so well until you got to the arrowroot.
The chooks will probably have really good dreams tonight.
No rain tomorrow, all will be well.