Friday, August 28, 2009

Bryan Compost Facility - A gardening adventure

Seeing that at this point, I can hardly move my body off the couch to do anything else, I thought I would blog about today's adventure...

My dad called a few days ago to let us know we could borrow his truck this weekend if we needed it to haul dirt (I had one raised bed that had not yet been filled). So Dave drove me over to my Dad's shop this morning to visit for a few minutes and pick up one of the work trucks. I was a little nervous about driving something so large (I don't drive often and when I do it's a Prius), but I soon felt perfectly comfortable for the easy ride out to our city's compost facility.

I've never been to the Bryan Compost Facility before, but I hear about it all the time. You can get wonderful compost for only $28 a ton or wood chips for absolutely free (I like free). And how can you go wrong with a slogan like "From Greenwaste to Greener Gardens." I want a greener garden...

With some mulch needed for the flower beds in the front of the house, we decided to take advantage of having a truck at our disposal and planned on getting both compost (for the back) and wood chips (for the front). Thus, two trips to the facility were planned.

Needing a little coaching on how everything worked, I checked in with one of employees at the office. Turns out, I was right where I needed to be. They weighed the truck on the way in and directed me around to the absolutely humongous piles of wood chips and compost just beyond the office.

In a matter of seconds, they had me all loaded up and ready to weigh back in. Well, that was easy! A few more moments, $20, and .7 tons of compost later, I was ready for the real work - unloading.

Despite rain over the last 4 days, the compost was still pretty light and once parked in my driveway, it was easy to shovel it from the truck to the wheelbarrow. I couldn't even begin to tell you how many loads I transferred from the truck to the raised beds in the back, but I filled an 8x10x1 foot raised bed as well as topped off 5 of the other 6 beds with fresh compost. Had I not been alone, perhaps I'd have a photo to share with you of what I looked like after hauling all that compost. Let me tell you. It wasn't pretty. But those beds sure are!

I slipped inside at 12:30 for a quick bowl of rice and veggies (and LOTS of water) before heading out for round two at the compost facility.

The same gentleman waited on me this second time and waved me on through to get my free wood chips. Did I mention I like free? I figured we didn't need a whole truck load of wood chips, but I had the truck and well, they were free, so they filled me up! By 1:30, I was back at home and ready for more unloading.

The wood chips were a little more difficult to get out of the truck so I had to use a pitchfork for most of the transfer. Of course this was made more difficult by the fact that it had started raining. Within no time, I was again covered from head to toe in dirt and sweat. Ok. It was more like mud at this point, but long since having given up the idea that it was important to look good, I enjoyed the cool rain on my skin, refreshing me from the hot Texas sun.

By 3:00, the front flower bed was finished. Looks good, no? I managed to clean out my dad's truck and get it moved to the street. I tried to clean off the driveway, but the rain we got made it kinda muddy and at this point, after 5 straight hours of physical labor, my arms and legs were threatening to detach. So I gave in and went inside with plans to finish cleaning the driveway later this weekend.

When I came in the front door, I realized that in the process of refilling my water bottle (and eating lunch), I had made a muddy mess of the floors. Well, crap! But first things first - a shower. And for the first time in my life, I actually got into the shower will all my clothes still on. Honestly, I've never had to do that before, but caked in mud, I saw no alternative.

With the last few ounces of energy, I managed to vacuum the floor, clean my shoes, start a load of laundry (including some VERY dirty clothes), and mop up some of the mud I'd traipsed through the house.

That's it. I have nothing left. I'm going to sit here on the couch and not move. Hopefully, someone will come home this evening to feed me 'cause I ain't goin' nowhere (but at least the yard looks awesome!)...

P.S. I forgot to mention - I guess I inhaled too much compost because my snot is black. Yeah. I think that may be taking gardening too far...

9 comments:

sharli said...

That looks great! That is about how I felt after last weekend. Installing garage shelves with the heaviest drill on earth on Saturday. Then, Sunday spent shoveling soil, then tilling up a new bed. Whew.... More fun planned for tomorrow!

Chile said...

Wow, big yard day. Great stuff and free is good. Been there on the black snot...hehe.

Take it easy and let those muscles recoup!

Heather @ SGF said...

Sharli - At least today is a nicer day for working outside. It was beautiful sitting at the market. Actually cool. I'm a little sore from yesterday's work, but not as sore as I thought I would be. More neck and back than anything, but it felt good to be working the old bod :)

Chile - No more black snot today, but that was pretty nasty yesterday :) Planning on sitting on the couch all afternoon. I'll bike tomorrow, but after all that work in the yard, I definitely need a day of rest!

Lisa Sharp said...

Posts like this make me so jealous lol. Living in my small town where very little is eco-friendly. :)

Heather @ SGF said...

Lisa - I don't know if you'd call us super eco-friendly, but we have managed to make some of the baby steps. And isn't that's what it's all about? Keep making noise and it'll happen for you too...

andrea said...

way to go heather! it's a LOT of work, but so worth it...! i'll be doing similar work over the next few weekends to get ready for fall planting.

Heather @ SGF said...

Andrea - What's the plan for planting this fall in your garden? You're right. The compost was hard work, but its going to be so good for the plants and honestly, it felt good working the muscles so hard.

Beany said...

You know some women pay good money to get a mud bath.

Heather @ SGF said...

Beany - No kidding! I wish I could say my arms up to the elbow were looking particularly glamourous, but not so much...