Saturday started with a bit of a lie-in, well, I got up, had a bowl of muesli and then went back to bed for an hour. Lovely! The boys were watching a brand new version of 'Swap Shop' with Basil Brush, who is possibly marginally better than Noel Edmonds was when I was a lad, but there again, possibly not as Noel didn't need a hand up his bum to make him do things (I'm assuming here!) Anyway, good to see a bit of practical re-use being promoted on the telly, made into entertainment (and a recycled show too!)
I spent an hour down the garden as the sun tried to poke through the clouds, and did yet more hedge, which is now getting a little bit tedious! There's so much of it, days worth of processing. I can begin to understand the mentality of people who have bonfires... it would only take an hour to reduce the massive pile of hedge into a pile of ash and loads of unwanted CO2 into the air... but what I'm doing will enable me to release some of the CO2 in a careful way, giving me much wanted heat (and replacing fossil fuel use) and some of the material will be incorporated into the soil as humus, trapping the carbon there for an unknown length of time. The twiggy bits which will be composted will also be the perfect composting companion material for the highly putrescible fruit and veg that I bring back in such copius quantities, so it will be worth the work to process the hedge not torch it. But quite a task and a half....
My eldest came down the garden at 11am to say that he was going round to a friend's house to do some homework (dissolving lumps of non-vegetarian jelly in water of different temperatures and timing them) and Gill and our youngest going into town to buy some shoes for his growing feet. I cycled into town to do some paper pushing (paid the phone bill, got a cheque out for a motorised compost riddler that I've had my eye on for a year, and now it's come down in price, I can afford it as a sort of post Xmas present to myself... also a business expense as it will speed up my composting ops, as it can sift 3 cubic metres an hour, apparently!)
Then called in on my friend Robin who I know from CRAG, and he proudly showed me his amazing retrofitted renewable energy systems. He has a brilliant smoke free woodburning stove with a boiler... I didn't know it was possible but it is, I've seen it in action and looked at the website too. It is a Dunsley Yorkshire Boiler Woodstove, built in Holmfirth in Yorkshire, and at up to 17Kw, it powers the central heating and hot water, and Robin runs it entirely on chopped-up pallets which are discarded in large numbers all over the place. It makes the house quite warm, infact too hot sometimes for his wife! For when the stove isn't providing heating, he has installed a 30 tube solar hot water panel on an outhouse in his garden, and some fancy electronics which feed the stove water and/or the solar-heated water to the hot water tank. I was very impressed! I'll be writing about the Dunsley Yorkshire in my paid blog which I resume tomorrow.
He also showed me his home made compost tumbler, constructed from a wheelie bin, used in conjunction with two small 'daleks'. He shared his future plans to install a downstairs toilet which uses either rainwater or greywater to flush, anothe excellent way of reducing one's eco-footprint. I went away inspired and very happy that I have met the second greenest man in York, probably! We'll have to have a competition to see who has the smallest Carbon footprint... he has a motor vehicle (although is a keen cyclist too) and I think enjoys meat, but we didn't discuss this.. I also enjoyed meeting his wife and kids, and hope we can get together when the weather is a bit better to let them have a go on the trampoline and show his wife the garden.
I came back for a late lunch via Martin's compostables emporium. Then I spent more time down the garden and finally took out the last bit of hedge, hoorah! However there is now an even bigger mountain of hedging to cut up, bag up, shred etc, which will take me weeks, I'm sure. Gill came down and spent a while cutting up sticks into kindling size.
I came in as it got dark and after de-grubbying my hands, threw together a nutloaf using yesterdays bulgar wheat and a reject pepper. It was lovely, and we had the two-day-old tomato soup on top of it as a sauce and reject parsnips cooked on the stove and reject sprouts ditto. a good nosh.
My son came back from his friend's after 8pm, and had had a really good time, homework done and lots of 10 year old play/interaction.
I watched Big Brother on E4 before doing my emails and blog. A good day.