Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches > Daily Dispatch #259

August 24, 2012: New Compost Facility Project – on Hold

The new compost facility building project got put on hold for a few days. We had to pick blueberries. Had to tend to Hrimmi. Had to pick strawberries. Had to put up the fruits of our harvesting labors.

The other night, I went to check on Carol’s place for her. (She’s in the hospital in Chula Vista, getting treated for breast cancer.) All looked good, including her strawberry patch. I realized that she wouldn’t be home in time to tend to it, so I dove in and began picking, putting in a late night and an early morning. I picked two buckets of nearly over-ripe berries. (In Carol’s absence, I thought of her,



sending a great deal of positive energy her way.)

Yesterday afternoon, Pete and cleaned and canned five pints of strawberries jam, nine pints of strawberry juice, and set aside enough for two strawberry rhubarb pies. Then he blanched kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and fava beans.

We still have to put up the blueberries.

The work on the new compost station took a backseat to all this. But in part for good reason. It appears as though we really are going to get a tractor. Andre has several – we might even get our pick. The only thing more fun than going to a puppy farm, is going to a tractor farm.

Already, I know that this is going to be a very wise investment, which is one that’s going to save me considerable time and energy. Repeatedly, I’ve taken great joy doing the math. For instance, in the middle of the cleared site is a huge, semi-composted mass that is comprised of lawn clippings, garden weeds, kitchen scraps, and horse, goat, and chicken manure. Turning it by hand will take me close to two hours. Turning it by tractor will take me fifteen minutes. The same holds true of the next part of the construction phase. Leveling the site by hand will take me close to two days. Leveling the site by tractor will take an hour.

There is also another reason why this is going to be a good investment. When I was in Portland, Eleanor remarked that I’m no longer a spring chicken. I guess I’m a summer chicken, this as opposed to being a fall or winter chicken. I can still do heavy labor, but now I sometimes feel it the next day. So now’s the time to concede that yes, there’s an easier way.

As I said before, this concession, that we need a tractor, is a sign of progress. More garden, more animal manure, more snow – it’s time to bite the bullet and get a tractor. I can hardly wait.