Thursday, 8 October 2009

Thursday 8th October 09

A busy day, much of it outside. Our next door neighbour has offered to put up a fence between his barbecue patio and our veg patch where there is now a big bushy Privet hedge. The hedge roots go right under our raised beds, making the hedge-side of them very poor at growing stuff, and he wants to grow things up the fence and cannot grow things up the hedge. So the deal is that I remove the hedge, and he builds a little wall with the fence on top, and we share the cost.

So today I continued to get the hedge ready for removal, and then started removing it, using my amazing digging bar. This is a very heavy metal bar, pointed on one end and has a chisel on the other, and can be jabbed into the soil and used as a lever to break up the ground. Then I move the earth away from the roots, take out any ground elder roots for composting and eventually am able to pull out the individual Privet plants. I cut off the tops and am saving the roots and in the evening put a message on Freecycle offering the first roots. I was gobsmacked to get 6 replies within an hour, all wanting them.

So I spent much of the first part of the day digging and shredding. But I also had some paperwork to deal with and some phone calls.

But at 1pm, I got my Vigo fruit press and apple grinder (my apple grinder is like this with teeth!)ready and one of the St Nicks recycling crew, David I think, came along on the big load-carrying trike and picked it up, along with my galvanised tub which is used for washing the apples. This is a central part of Apple Day at St Nicks, and I lend it to them every year. I bought it years ago when I was a winemaker/cider maker, but haven't used it myself for some while.

Then soon after 2, I got my bike out to go down to St Nicks as I was meeting Mark and his friend Tom to show them round. As I arrived I met a Taiwanese lady called YChing who also wanted a tour. So I took them all around the centre and the nature reserve. YChing is a PhD student, studying tropical mountains and climate change. She was interested to find I was involved in Transition, as she is attending the Transition North event on 6th November.

So we all had a good walk around and finished up back at the Environment Centre. I had got on so well with YChing that I invited her back to see the compost heaps etc at home, so we cycled back and had another half hour together.

After she cycled off, I did more hedge removal and came in for tea, knackered. Pasta, cauliflower, sauce, fancy bread... yummy, needed that!

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