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August 21, 2012: Building Preliminaries

Putting up a new structure requires considerable ground work; no pun intended. I was reminded of this yesterday, as I continued work on the new compost facility. I first gathered up all the rotty particle board and tossed it in Sputnik, our older pick-up truck. The bottom most layers stuck out the edge of the truck bed, so Pete suggested we unload and reload it, which we did. Off we then went, to the dump.

A trip to the landfill is sobering because you then see how much waste people generate. Before us, on an overcast day, were great mounds of discarded stuff, much of it plastic-based. For a bit, the

noise of the dozer, moving the stuff back, was near deafening. Moving and covering the piles, using gas guzzling machinery, seemed to me to be equally wasteful. As is the case of most landfills, the gulls circled overhead, looking for food scraps.

I felt bad about the fact that we were making the said pile larger, but the particle board had been put to good use – it formerly covered the old compost stations, and it was originally salvaged from the dump. Plus, we do recycle. The VCRS recycling center is adjacent to the landfill, and we take the bulk of our garbage – cardboard, paper, aluminum, and the like, here. Plus, Pete’s on the VCRS board of directors. I did grab a really nice five gallon bucket – why anyone would toss such a thing is unfathomable to me.

We made a mistake. The landfill drop-off charge is by the pound. The particle board was wet, so we paid more than we would have, had it been dry. Next time, we’ll know better.

We next drove over to Spenard Builder Supply, and purchased wood for our two upcoming building projects—Tinni’s run-in shed and the new compost facility. As the guys put the wood in the truck, I was once again reminded that because I’m an older, unattractive woman, that I’m invisible in such instances. So the guys chatted and I listened. The best thing about being invisible is that it’s made me a very good listener. I learn all kinds of things. For example, this time Pete and warehouse worker talked about inefficient purchasing – the fellow who helped us out said that the nearby fairground construction crews tend to make smaller purchases, and altogether too often bring stuff back to Spenards, often used.

We returned home, and went for a ride. After, I resumed work, moving 20 or so pallets to the far side of the building site. This was dirty, onerous work. But necessary, in part because the slimy boards had in the past few years become slug habitat.

I will next clear the area of weeds, brush, and compost detritus, and also move the one remaining compost pile off-site. I’ll construct a huge mixed pile. If the September weather is, as it’s been in past, dry and cool, it will cook. I’ll eventually put this pile in one the new stations, maybe with the borrowed tractor.

The next phase of this project will center around building the rear wall foundation. This will involve leveling the land and putting three railroad ties in place. It will take a few days before I get this far. Today we’re going berry picking, at a nearby secret spot. On the ride there, I’ll ask Pete for my next round of compost facility marching orders.

257. 08/22/12: Blueberries