I needed a break from deep thinking, HA, and turned to physical labor to clear my mind.  What better chore than turning the compost?

Do you ever have those loops, where one task is connected to another, forming an endless circle that means you never get started?  In this case, it involved building a new compost bin, a chicken coop to be cleaned and winterized (and I'd like to add that fresh manure to the already-turned winter pile), garden beds to be fed, and a lawn with long grass and leaves I want to mulch with, preferable ON TOP of the composted garden beds. And the new bin keeps being pushed back, as other bigger house projects have taken priority, and the ignored chores are building up.

So like a roundabout, I decided today that no matter where I enter the loop, it would eventually take me around and spit me out somewhere else.  I turned our compost into a wheelbarrow and stashed the unfinished bits in a free spot in the yard.  Then I hauled wheelbarrow loads of good stuff to any bed that had free space.  I moved the old bin to the new temporary spot, filled it with all the leftover bits, and cleared a spot next to it to stash a pile of mulch.  Whew!


Anybody else love working with compost?  I love the smell, the medley of insects that appear, even the fat black vole that I ALWAYS encounter at the bottom.  I love that it's like a biblical fish and loaves story, you just keep digging it out and there's always more left (I got at least 7 wheelbarrow loads).  It is also a back-killer for a small person who tends to be impatient and lift more than she should though.

So here's my cheap bastard and healthy gardener tip for sifting compost.  For the most part, I don't really care if there are some unfinished bits, especially when feeding my beds in the fall. But I wanted to spread some finer stuff in my fall gardens under the hoops, and keep out a few buckets for fertilizing container plants and early spring plantings.  I use the milk crate pictured:  it has built in handles, and it holds just enough that it doesn't weigh too much and I don't injure myself trying to sift 40 pounds at a time!   Just add a few shovels full and shake, it works great!

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