Scavaging for the GANG garden — this morning, grass clippings!
Lots of them. A whole truckfull. From Indiana University groundskeepers. Whew!
The two IU groundskeepers, Shadow, and Jim, my housemate, who directed where to put the clippings.
I consider this a real coup . . .
Shadow and were out on one of our usual morning walks, this one into a big grassy area north of campus. Once again, no chemtrails above. A good omen.
Came upon these two men, both dear hearts, forking grass clippings into a white truck with the IU decal on the door. Would they mind taking this load of grass clippings to theGreen Acres Neighborhood Garden? It’s nearby.
“Well, I dunno. We’d have to ask the boss.”
After a bit more hemming and hawing, and me begging and scraping in front of them, Shadow dancing around their feet, one of them sauntered over to the truck cab and pulled out his walky-talky.
The boss: “Nearby? I see no problem with that.”
Shadow and I ran home to be on the street in front when they arrived. Got here just in the nick of time. Jim, the young permaculturist and Goddard student who lives with me, directed them to dump the pile just in front of flower gardens at my house, since he’s working on a project for a sweet little gate for the garden itself (next door),
Finally, we’re going to get an obvious gate into the garden. As it is now, people don’t even know the gate is there unless they are already familiar with it. Jim is working to create two little raised garden beds here, on the outside, before creating a more obviously welcoming gate. All these projects take time. As the founder and organizer — and elder — I sit back and watch young permies do their thing, utilizing the permaculture principles we all learned in the two-week-long permaculture design class.
and didn’t want that area disturbed. Told me he’d clean the whole mess up.
This is not the first time I’ve scavenged for materials for the GANG. Not the first time our morning walks have yielded riches. Most of these unexpected finds come from where neighbors pile what they don’t want for the city to take away. But not all.
A few years ago I spotted bamboo growing a few blocks away (for temporary garden structures; now we have our own bamboo patch to harvest). I went up to the door and asked the renters if they would ask the owner if we could cut part of it. YES!
Old carpet (for garden aisles,
then covered with woodchips (donated, when I ask, by the city of Bloomington, or by men cutting down nearby trees),
Here’s one of our aisles, carpet laid down and partially covered with wood chips (I’ve put a call into the city for more . . .). Notice the Garden Tower to the right (www.gardentowerproject.com). We’ve found that aisles treated this way discourage weeds for about three years in this climate, and then need to be replaced.
leaves from nearby neighbors each fall, a tree trunk downed by a windstorm and dragged from next door (for a hugelculture bed).
Image thanks to permaculture institute of Australia. A log can go in as the base of these type of beds, and then disintegrates slowly.
Cardboard too, once in a while. I see it piled flat on the curb, and, like the carpet, load it into the back of the Prius. All of this stuff, flotsam and jetsam of the suburban landscape, for the lasagna beds, to mulch them and keep building soil.
For now, Jim says he’d like to mix this load of grass in with our compost piles, some of which are mostly carbon (sticks) and in need of nitrogen.