Monday, 27 March 2017

Saturday 25th March 17

Another full day........... with the Edible York Spring into 2017 event, and then a gig in Alne.

So, I got up early so as I could get to Tang Hall Community Centre for 10am, with some planks which Ruth had asked me to bring so they could be made into signs or plant labels. I cut them into 30cm lengths.  Sadly, the event was poorly attended. Very disappointing, and difficult to understand why. However, Jonathan and Melissa came, and there were quite a few other people I was glad to see.  I came home with some seedlings and seeds, and a possible compost order or two.

The event finished with lunch, and we wound up at about 2pm.  I collected some compostables on the way home including 10kg of very green potatoes. I spent some time chopping these into the tumbler, and soon it was time to get the trailer loaded for my gig this evening.

I needed to be in Alne for a 6pm start, so after checking the route, I reckoned that if I left at 4, I should be there by 5.15 which would give me time to cool down and get ready for the show.

I left at 4.08 and got there at 5.20.  Good estimation!  So there was no rush to get ready and I had a sandwich that Gill packed for me, before getting changed and doing the two shows, the audience were disabled adults, so quite a difficult gig, but there were several who definitely had a great time so I was happy with that.

I took my time getting home, going via Overton which is a narrow and unlit road, which I'd hoped would be safer than the main road with cars zipping past at 60mph. However there was a surprising amount of traffic on this little road, including meeting several on corners, meaning they didn't know I was there until the last moment. I did use the cycle track through the woods but then rejoined the main road just before the junction with the outer ring road.  This cycle home took over an hour and a half and left me very cold. Cycling in shorts and sandals in warm spring sunshine is different to when it is a starry windless night.

Very happy to get in, and Gill had some pasta and veg ready. I lit the stove though as she'd been too creaky to do it. It took me over an hour to warm up.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Friday 24th March 17

An excellent day.  I'd arranged to meet Michelle at El Piano at midday, but I woke up at 11.17 so I quickly chucked some muesli down, got my bike out and loaded what I needed for after Michelle, and arrived at El P at a minute to midday, just before they opened. Michelle appeared 3 minutes later and we had a tea and a mocha - and the usual excellent chats. She really is one of the most sensible and sorted people I know, although she might not see this about herself.

This wound up at about half one and I cycled over to Bishy Road to see Ben, who'd asked me to come and do his compost bin, a Komp 250 which was nearly full. I removed the top half of material and put it into bin bags.... probably about 80 litres, and then dug out the rest using a Compost Mate and a trowel, and filled 6 bin bags, so maybe 120kg, and popped those in my trailer. The fresher stuff then got thrown back, along with some dry autumn leaves. The job took just under 2 hours and Ben paid me £30 which we were both happy with. I'll be able to mature the material he didn't want (although I did put about 10kg on his garden) and it should make good compost. It was one of the cleanest batches of compost I'd seen, with very few plastic 'contraries' compared to many bins I deal with. I did find a tea spoon though!

So I cycled home with that and decanted it into a barrel I use to mature nearly-finished compost in, and then topped it with some really nice material from a dalek which had rotted down to 25% of what it was 2 years ago. 

I then chopped up some sticks from a pruning job I was doing yesterday to reduce tree/hedge height near my raised beds, as they were too shaded last year. I put those in wooden fruit boxes to dry for a few months.... they should be ready to use for kindling by next winter.

I came in at 7pm as it was getting too dark to work, and had some salad and a vegan pastie Gill had made.  I got the stove going and by midnight had got enough hot water for a bath and hair wash.  Bed before 3am, as have the Edible York event tomorrow, and a Fiddlesticks gig.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Wednesday 15th March 17

A fairly early start as I was due down at the 'Shambles Market' (which I knew as Newgate Market) in the middle of town for 10.30 with a medium sized load of compost, 5 sacks of about 20kg each. Bill from Edible York had asked me to deliver as he was setting up two planters there.

There were already several Edible York volunteers there and I worked with them to mix up my compost with mushroom compost and some sandy loam. In the planters we put two fan-trained cherry trees, up against a trellis, and some mint, bright lights chard, and a few strawberries.  Joy turned up and offered to buy some fixing ties from Barnitts, as a gift for Edible York, so I put those on, to help train and support the trees.

I then had to go to West Offices to the Treemendous meeting. After which I was happy to come home!

When I got home I was pleased to find that the nitrogen oxides measuring kit had been delivered. It consists of a tube which has a NOx absorber in, and over 2 weeks will tell what the average air pollution levels are in your area. Friends of the Earth are compiling a pollution map, so I'm happy to take part.  Maybe some of my friends will be too 

I attended a Green Party meeting in the evening, which had a presentation from Richard from York Community Energy, and that was really interesting too!