Monday, October 29, 2012

of leaves and mulch

This past Saturday dawned cool and crisp (and wind-free) and soon I was lured outdoors to do some impromptu leaf-raking. Nothing crazy mind you, just cleaning up around the edges and tucking the garden beds in for the winter under a layer of leaves. Besides, I had work to do inside and I needed to get back to it! Well, one thing lead to another: the sun (finally) rose above the trees, the temperature (quickly) rose above 60 degrees, and I was finding more and more leaves to rake!

Eventually, I had a good pile going and needed to move them from point A (lawn) to point B (garden) with the most bang for my buck (as in: one fell swoop). That's when I spied the kiddie pool... Why not? I had yet to use it for its intended purpose (fill with water, splash around), although it did get used as a giant wash tub this summer (more about that here)... Let's see if it could pull its weight (heehee) during the fall season!

Wow! That thing holds a lot of leaves! At first I tried to pick it up and carry it (dumb), and then push it with the rake (somewhat smarter), and finally I drilled a hole in the rim and threaded a piece of rope through it so I could drag it (brilliant!). It worked great, and 2 more trips to the garden with leaves and that project was complete.

However, there was no way I was going back indoors on a day that was more like a flashback of late August, so I needed to find more leaves to transport... And I found them in great quantity on the vast expanse of nothingness that is my leach field! It abuts the edge of the woods and was covered in a thick layer of leaves and pine needles. Wet, heavy leaves and pine needles. Directly downhill from their uphill destination... And that's when I spied it... my seldom used gas lawn mower... Why not?

 So with visions of finely shredded leaf mulch being (effortlessly) spewed uphill and ever closer to their final resting place (my compost corral), and my father's voice in my head saying "You really shouldn't mow when it's wet", I (inserted ear plugs) and then cranked that sucker up!!!

OK, so it wasn't entirely effortless... but the results were spectacular:

And as soon as Frankenstorm has passed, 
I will go to the beach and collect seaweed to top the pile off with!

Piper the Safety Orange Dog stands guard over our pile 'o garden gold!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

pure genius

                                     Baz Ratner /Reuters /Landov

I don't know which is more amazing: a) this bicycle will retail for around $20, or, b) it is made entirely from recycled cardboard!

To read the full NPR blog post by Mark Memmott click here. The post also includes a fascinating (and beautifully shot) video of the mastermind/inventor/genius behind this bicycle, Izhar Gafni. You'll get a look at the Israeli inventor in the process of  creating the bike and also see the finished product in action.