We are probably above average in this category but we work pretty hard at it. At home it means I only have to take one can of actual garbage and two cans of recyclables to the dump every two months. At the farm it is on a whole different scale.
While the curtain drain was being dug, my friend S and I spent the weekend chipping limbs from the trees taken down during the site prep. The logs will be stripped of their bark and stored in the barn to cure so we can use them when we build our passive solar cob and timber home.
After we worked through one of the large piles of limbs (and there are more – lots more!) S hopped in her trusty skidsteer to grab a scoop of this and a scoop of that so we could layer the sod scraped from the site with the woodchips to get some compost started. I sprayed liquid fish between each layer. Needless to say, the light breeze that day did not endear me to my friends at meal times…
On the far right you can see the mountain of sod scraped off of the site in the picture below. As much topsoil as possible was put back on the site after grading – this was the really lumpy stuff too hard to spread.
Over to the right you can see the piles of wood chippings and S layering in the sod. As always, Magpie is supervising. It’s hard to imagine that this “parking lot” will be a beautiful perennial garden with a lovely pond and garden benches someday…
The finished compost pile and M “doing the hustle” – J must be honking the track hoe horn!
Trunks and roots from the trees cleared for the building site will be used in large hugelkultur beds.
Meanwhile back at the ranch… I have been picking up loads of cardboard boxes off of my local freecycle to use when we start to layout our perennial planting beds. Not a day goes by that someone isn’t listing free moving boxes, so I have an ample supply. This is a picture of just one haul! The cardboard will be the bottom layer of our sheet mulching to help kill the sod but preserve the nutrients and add organic matter to the soil.
I’ve also been bagging up the straw bedding and chicken poop from the coop at home in 55 gallon contractor bags and dragging them out to the farm each week. I have quite a pile accumulated and have been adding our kitchen and paper scraps from the weekend camping at the farm to it as well as buckets of compost from home to help get things going. Since I didn’t have time to get a veg garden in at home this year, I decided the huge mountain of compost I’d built could be put to better use at the farm, so I just fill as many 5 gallon buckets as I can each week and haul them out with me whenever I head down. These materials will also be used for sheet mulching.