Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Shoulders Are Sore But…

The composting system is now installed!

Before I go into the tales of today, I should share some thoughts on the placement of my new compost bin from a Feng Shui perspective.  The Earth Machine composter was just on the edge of my Creativity & Children and my Relationship & Love sectors of the yard.  The space I had available there was just not big enough to house the new composting system and I needed to locate another place that would be practical, not terribly visible and also, hopefully, not detrtimental.

I have placed the new compost bin (which is rectangular in shape and mostly made of wood) on the edges of my Family and Prosperity zones.  Right in the centre of my Family zone is a big leafy green shrub and right in the centre of my Prosperity zone is a very healthy Damson Plum tree - about to burst forth in white blossoms, but the fruit is a gorgeous bright reddy-purple colour.

The sector of the yard it is now in is represented by:
  • the colours green, red and purple
  • the shapes vertical, columnar or rectangular
  • the wood element
  • the symbolism for new growth, expansion, vitality, energy and determination
So... I am looking at the placement from the practical standpoint that this was the most reasonable location it could be positioned in, and from the Feng Shui standpoint that, with a couple of minor cures, it can also be a major enhancement to my family and prosperity zones. With the help of Mother Nature and her extremely industrious earthworms, this will be a healthy and productive addition to my yard.

The plan was to use old lumber pallets, zap straps and lengths of re-bar.  I started by collecting lumber pallets.  I saved the top pieces from my picnic table to use as shoring up pieces, and once I had enough lumber pallets (7 for the double composter I was planning to build) I got my hands on some six-foot lengths of re-bar and some extra large and heavy-duty zap straps.

Some of the lumber pallets

Lumber pallet and Earth Machine Composter

Pieces of two-by-fours
This morning, after coffee outside in the sunshine, I started the project by putting the first two pallets in place.

The beginning - the first two pallets in place
The first length of re-bar was hammered down in between them and then I put the re-bar at the ends.  After the two back pieces were put in place, I muscled the sides & centre pallet into place, zap-strapped them to the re-bar posts and hammered in the next 3 lengths of re-bar.

Cross-Pieces in place
Note to self: sledge hammering one handed while holding the re-bar in place makes shoulders very sore.  I mean VERY sore - like I need an ibuprofen kind of sore.

I made a mistake here and zap-strapped the front pieces on… but when I started to move the material from my little Earth Machine composter over to the big compost, well, I took the front panel off of the left-side of the composter so that I could just dump the wheelbarrow directly into it. MUCH easier.

All done?

Look how much space there is there!
Front panel back on, I worked on cleaning the yard up a little and when I stepped around the front of my house I discovered that a friend from work had left me a couple of small rhubarb plants at my front door – so I pulled the shovel back out and planted the new rhubarb in the recently vacated old compost spot.

Rhubarb plant happily ensconced in old composter spot
When I was digging out the old composter, I saw loads of giant, juicy fat worms (which I happily transplanted along with the compost to the new bin.

Today also saw me acquire (from my neighbours) some new plants for my yard.

First up is some Lovage, which is a tall perennial plant whose leaves can be used in soups and salads, roots can be grated up and eaten like vegetables and tea made from the leaves can be used as an antiseptic.  The seeds can evidently also be used like a spice – VERY versatile! It smells sort of like celery. It can grow quite tall (between 5’ and 8’) and can be used as hedging.  I have planted it into a bare spot along one of my side fences and in that spot it will provide some privacy for both me and the neighbours.

Next up was some Crocosmia – they have ling spiky leaves and orange flowers & look like something that hummingbirds might like!

Last but not least is a pot of garlic chives, which will be placed into one of the two very large planters that I have reserved for something but not got anything of import planted in at this time.

All this work done, I came inside, showered and am now going to relax on my sofa for the rest of my evening.

Big day tomorrow – my Demxx delivery is arriving around 9:45 in the morning – so my new front door and 8 bales of insulation will need to be stored until I can have the door installed and I can get the insulation up into the attic and lay it out.

With love across the waters,

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