July 1, 2010

Pondering the Health of the Palouse Soil

The weekend is nearing. There is a tug o' war going on to see which of the many neglected chores rise to the top of my list for doing. Pruning back the spring/summer growth which is trying to steal the driveway may win out. 

Bless our recycle center. I love knowing our yard waste will shortly be part of the dark, cooking compost nurtured there in grand piles. We've been cooking compost here at home for decades, but this time of year, the volume of debris far exceeds our space and time for working it down.

This is another of the areas compost centers. Once the big piles inside the building have been heated, moistened, turned, heated, moistened, turned and on...they are moved outside to be spread, moistened, turned as needed and further worked until done. 

Down the road a bit is one of the paper and plastic recycle centers. The trucks just keep coming and dumping, round the clock. Post dumping, moving and sorting, the resulting compacted bundles are trucked off to other centers to be reduced and reused. 

Worthy efforts to be sure. However like so many things we deal with on our over worked, over grown globe, the cycle of waste needs reduction. What better time than this weekend, during this celebration of our history, to commit ourselves to being more responsible dwellers? 

Yeah, I think I'll start with the driveway pruning and work out from there. I'll be pondering the health of the soils of the Palouse, seen in the top photo, as I trim.


Kittie Howard said...

Hey, Chris, great seeing you up on the screen. I really enjoyed your photos as I had sometimes wondered how that worked, especially how the compost is watered down. Our planet needs every ounce of help it can get. Hope you got your driveway finished. Hub and I are in Europe until August. Have an hpMini for a bit of blogging.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Your top photo is incredible, beauty in simplicity.

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

Thanks so much. There are a couple of stages of the composting process I left out. One is actually the final process; moving it on to smaller (still big) bins and turning it until it becomes refined, dark and loamy. Every stage allows for air circulation.

Also, the watering process in the building comes from ceiling sprinklers. When I walked in they were putting out a fine and constant mist.

It's one thing to see our leaves and light yard debris break down pretty quickly. These centers take on huge volumes of tree limbs etc as well. That can be done at home too, but not without a good deal of time, or using the machines that grind limbs and branches which triggers the whole noise pollution discussion.

The driveway is showing progress! Day two begins a BIT more slowly than day one. Aging weekend yard warriors tend to drag a bit on day two.

Yesterday was bulk cutting, mostly by my husband while I worked on raking, trimming, etc. Today is shape pruning in addition to tall cutting. One of us driving the truck while the other stands in the back cutting as high as tiptoes will allow. Wild hazelnut bushes grow here and can take over in one season if not controlled. Some are a good 15-20 ft tall prior to pruning. No nuts, but lots of wispy branches. Long wispy branches...no match for the weight of snow when it shows up.

While I'm out there, I'll be thinking of you in Europe and imagining the sights. Happy travels Kittie!

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

Thanks so much. I really like that photo too. Made me want to thank the farmer for placing his tractor tracks where he/she did. Simplicity is one of my favorite things and that trip to the east side of the state provided a lot of it. Certainly a contrast to all that garbage in the photo below.

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