Sunday, December 5, 2010

Composting communities

As Ms Tagalong trundled the seventh, or was it eighth, barrowload of dessicated fig leaves and the odd shovel of moist, decaying vegetation she mused on how clever nature was and how we just don't seem to work with it.

The avenue of giant Port Jackson figs which line the street outside the community garden provide a year round supply of leaf litter to be directly placed on the garden to be turned into the soil, as a mulch or a good layer for the compost heap. Unfortunately most of them are swirled around by the wind on the tarmaced road or sluished down the drains and into the creek. What a waste! Be vigilant fellow gardeners, sweep up those leaves and turn them into black gold.

The compost heap Ms Tagalong made yesterday may not fully comply with the recommended structure but went a good way to utilise all our on site ingredients. Some of the existing mulch and horse manure and sawdust was laid down first, then the scrapings from the chicken huts,(straw and the topmost layer of earth under their boxes) leaves, wet newspaper from the bathtub, former home to the noxious salvinia, more leaves and mulch from the mulch heap on top. Reading the advice, Ms Tagalong thinks she probably should have found some more nitrogen sources but hey, you mulch and learn.

Yes, be aware and know that you are not on your own. There is a COMPOST AWARE WEEK! this was for 2008 but I challenge you to find out more and report back to the blog what you have found out. Imagine a whole street, nay a whole suburb composting together! This is what community is all about!

Or is it about brunching together. Those purists of you might not like the reporting of this community event held in a local park. But Ms Tagalong is so proud of one of our gardeners who organised it. The big brunch that is, long tables full of locals eating and sharing together. Apparantly we are going to involve produce from the garden next year more than the indirect contributions from the chickens, that is.

The chickens are being set to work and have been put into the tractor after now getting used to its presence for a few months. Yes, they were accustomed. Mr Ideasman lifted it up and Ms Tagalong popped in the chickens. Chicken number 1 looked around, scratched half-heartedly and then squeezed through the wire! Attempt 2, Ms Tagalong spied a much fatter one and popped her in. Happily we left two plump chickens scratching on the fallow bed. Half an hour later they were both loving the whole garden. Ah well, more chicken wire over the bottom of the tractor I feel.

And even more. We showed a film in the garden last night, nothing better than sitting in the gentle summer air, swatting mosquitoes, trying to concentrate on the dark dialogue in Atonement.

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