Winter Solstice

On Monday, I picked up a full “Bikes at Work” trailer load of cardboard from the St Johns Food Share.

The day before yesterday, our local friendly arborist dropped off a half-load of free disease-free Leland Cypress chips.  A little more acidic than we’d prefer, but the plants will tolerate it.  Right now this pile is sitting in the tiny patch of street in front of our house, smelling amazing.

Also the day before yesterday, we had our final final inspection and the house stopped being a construction site and started being a single family residence.

Yesterday Darin noticed that the city’s leaf picker-upper machines were picking up the last of the autumn leaves.  So we intercepted a trailer load’s worth before they disappeared into the jowls of the city.

[caption id=”attachment_14” align=”alignnone” width=”1200”]8 foot long bike trailer with cardboard walls to hold a massive load of leaves. shovels on top, and a bit of dried out tomato plant from last year's garden. terrible lighting; it's that time of year! Bikes At Work trailer full of leaves[/caption]

Also yesterday, we received our Certificate of Occupancy for the Rainbow House.

The plan for today was to go to the St Johns Food Share, pick up cardboard with the kid’s trailer (since the “bikes at work” trailer was full of leaves), take it over to Garden Annex #2, add the leaves, and pile the bark on top. That was the plan.  Then I had a job interview, which went well.  Then I ended up volunteering for like 4 hours at the Food Share, and next thing I knew, it was 3 in the afternoon and, well, this is the shortest day of the year.  The sun set at 4:30pm.

[caption id=”attachment_13” align=”alignnone” width=”1600”]Cardboard laid out over grass lawn. Black dog got in the picture. The laying out of the cardboard.[/caption]

So!  Today we hauled over a couple loads of cardboard and a load of leaves.  Then we filled the trailer back up with chips.  The chips are composting right there in the street!  I love it.  The air was cold, but the chips were warm.  The steam smelled cypressy.

After that, I left to take care of the dog we’re housesitting (he is the sweetest) and Darin hauled the first load of chips over.  We’re out of leaves, so we’re going to have to find other sources of compost for the rest of the plot.  But that’s ok, because I need to pick up more cardboard, anyway.

Hopefully we can mulch all of Annex #2 before our neighbor tells the city about the pile of wood chips in the street.  If only there were some way for me to complain to the city about all the cars in the street so that those would go away if they existed in the street for more than 3 days.

Backup plans and compost options:

  • Re-mulch the Rainbow House yard (it’s due anyway) and get a new chip drop when we have the compost sorted out for Annex #2.

  • Compost the chips, use those.  Possibly too carbon-rich, but we could use it sooner.

  • Compost the food the St. Johns Food Share sets aside for the pigs, use that.  better nutrient balance, but we would have to wait for it to fully compost.

  • Ask the city if we can have the big ole compost pile that’s next to our community garden plot.  It’s just growing weeds anyway, and there’s usually more in the spring.  So really we’d be doing the community garden a favor.  Still, better check first.