Saturday, April 13, 2013

Give a Woman Power Tools and She'll Take Over the World

I am so proud of my daughter, Jen, and I. Look what we made! A soil amendments bin from pallets may seem pretty basic to you, but for me it was a thrill. We made this by ourselves without any input from Dad, Son, Brother, Husband or Boyfriend.

We started with scrap lumber salvaged from the remodel of the front porch and pallets from the local farmer's co-op. I grabbed Dad's old camping hatchet and sharpened points on some of the planks. We pounded them into the ground to help support the first pallets until the first U-shaped section was completed. As soon as we had two pallets touching, we anchored them together with six-inch screws, then moved to the next section. 

The hardest part of the entire operation was probably swinging the hatchet and the 3-pound mini-sledge. We used some muscles that will be talking to us tomorrow! (Maybe if I built more bins, I'd have my arms in shape for summer. :) )  

We developed a rhythm in our work. I'd sharpen stakes; Jen would pound them in. When my hatchet arm gave out, I switched to screwing sections together with my brand-new cordless drill. (I'm such a Tool-Time Mama!)  Jen announced, "Give a woman power tools and she'll take over the world!"

Before you knew it, the four section bin was done. Lonesome dropped in to give us his seal of approval.  The four sections will be used to house working compost, finished compost, sand and topsoil. By bedtime, I had two of the sections filling.

After finishing this project, I weeded the circle bed. The bin on the left now has two wheel-barrow loads of henbit composting away. Feeling tidy, I grabbed a spade and moved the finished compost pile into the right bin. Three wheel-barrow loads of nice compost! That's probably the most compost I've made yet! (Maybe I've finally figured this thing out...) 

I've had a wire-framed compost bin that I brought with us from Texas. I usually fill it with kitchen waste and garden waste. It took most of 2012 to fill it last year, but I finally declared it ready to rest last fall and moved the wire frame to a new location.  Thanks to all the henbit, the second location is now ready to "close" as I start spot #3 in the pallet bin. I don't know if it was time or all the snow, but the oldest bed composted beautifully over the winter. I can't wait for location #2 to finish and add to the mix. 

It's so exciting to have all this lovely soil improvement stuff -- and free, too! I can already see my clay soil breaking up as it gets more plant matter worked into it. Look how self-sufficient we are becoming. Look how independent we were today making that bin ourselves. After this, what can hold us back??

I agree with Jen: Give a Woman Power Tools and She'll Take Over the World!

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