Many people in our neighborhood know about our urban-homesteading lifestyle, and help us out when they can. We’re very grateful.
The man across the street mowed his lawn recently and dumped the grass clippings in our yard. This morning I removed most of the accumulated leaves and kitchen/garden waste from two Earth Machines and then layered them back in, alternating with the grass clippings, plus a little water and dirt. The clippings will help the mixture heat up and turn to compost faster. And since the man is a neighbor, I know he doesn’t use herbicides on his lawn.
A few years ago, a big locust tree across the street came down in a storm, crushing our neighbor’s car. Bad for him, but good for us, because he offered the wood to us. A friend came over with a big, sharp chainsaw and cut the wood into 16-inch lengths, which I then split and stacked. This is excellent wood that is easy to split and very slow to rot, and someone said it is too good to burn and should be used to create garden borders. In the second half of next winter, we will be warmed by burning this wood. And I told the neighbor I’d supply him with seasoned wood for his fireplace.
Sometimes these donations don’t work out as well as you’d hoped. Another neighbor had a big sugar maple taken down and cut up this year and offered us the wood. We transported some of it to our yard in a wheelbarrow, but as I started to split it, I realized I was facing a major challenge. The wood is very hard and has lots of branches, and so a lot of it is impossible to split, even with a heavy maul and metal wedge. Renting a power log-splitter would cost $75 for four hours (for that amount I can get two-fifths of a cord of wood split and delivered), and would require a vehicle with towing capacity. The neighbor and I are still trying to figure out what to do with the big logs sitting in their driveway.
We love living in a place where neighbors help out neighbors!