Thursday, June 18, 2015

Just A Couple Of Pig Pens

Pens for piglets?  Nope.  Just a couple of really dirty, dusty people.  That would be me and Papa Pea.

We've had a chipper/shredder on our wish and want list for some time.  But we wanted a good one that would be substantial enough to . . . well, do a really good job of chipping and/or shredding.

Our good neighbor has also been thinking about getting one of these handy-dandy machines and a few months ago suggested Papa Pea pick out one he thought would do a good job for what we both needed, and we would split the cost and share the machine.

Before any decision was made, Good Neighbor happened to hear about one in the area that had been purchased new about ten years ago, used only once or twice, and stored since then.  Being very knowledgeable regarding nearly any and all kinds of machinery, he checked into this particular chipper/shredder and was pleased with the shape it was in and the price it could be purchased for.  He brought it home on a trial basis and you can guess the happy ending to the story.  We are now the half owners of one really nice chipper/shredder.

Today Papa Pea and I started using it to work through a pile of brush and birch bark we've accumulated in our back wood working area.  The machine is loud so we outfitted ourselves with ear protection along with goggles because the occasional piece of wood debris can come flying in one's direction.  The operation also creates a lot of wood dust which ends up in your hair, on your clothing and any exposed skin.

When we finished this afternoon and were walking back toward the house, I reminded hubby that neither of us could even think about sitting on a piece of upholstered furniture in the house until we changed clothes and showered.  (We did brush each other off with the a bench brush before coming inside to get a drink of water.)

After that little bit of refreshment, Papa Pea went back out to clean up the machine before returning it to Good Neighbor's shed where it's stored, and I went out into the blueberry patch to spread the chipped up product.

I've had more of a problem than usual this year with weeds growing in the blueberry patch, and I think it's because I didn't use as much peat moss for mulch as I usually do.  Peat moss isn't cheap, so we have been talking about using some other kind of mulch.  So that's where the material we created today with the chipper/shredder went.


The light colored material you see in the background by the raspberries is old straw I used for mulch there.  The light colored material in the foreground in between the blueberry bushes is the chipped and shredded material I spread (heavily) today.

I still need a lot more for the whole patch, but we got a good start on the project.  It's looking like it will do the trick, and I may never have to buy peat moss again!

No guarantees we won't have to take extra showers though to get rid of the wood dust.  Otherwise, I'm sure we'll be walking around doing a good imitation of Charles Shulz's Pigpen.

22 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Nancy - Sharing was the perfect way for us to get the machine. We're so fortunate to have the awesome neighbors we do. And they're much appreciated!

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  2. By your post title I thought you had gotten pigs (!) but a wood chipper is just as exciting :-).

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    1. Jane - Although getting pigs is also on our list, they just didn't rank quite as high as a wood chipper/shredder. I've enjoyed following your little piggy adventure!

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  3. Replies
    1. ElderberryWine4u - Thank you! The bushes are really loaded with blossoms and forming berries this year. Looks as though it will be a very good harvest!

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  4. Your garden is always 'drool' worthy! And I say that in a very good way! Fantastic idea sharing an expensive piece of equipment with a neighbor/friend. What a great way to clean up those pieces of wood and brush lying about too.

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    1. Lisa - It's always bothered us having to make a huge brush pile and then burn it . . . safely. Plus now all the debris will be recycled! A win-win situation.

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  5. Mama Pea,

    I was covered in grass, grass seed & dirt last week after mowing. Had to hose off outside before coming in. The garden looks great, those chips will do wonders for the weeds.

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    1. DFW - Yep, we can sure manage to get truly dirty in the summertime. But doesn't it feel good after getting cleaned off?! Our wood dust probably didn't show as much as your lawn clippings!

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  6. How awesome to own your own chipper. The chips look good in your blueberry patch.

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    1. Thanks, Laurie. As I say, it's been something we've wanted for some time so it really feels good to finally have one to use.

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  7. Mama Pea,

    It's so awesome to have a good friend, neighbor to work with on purchasing larger equipment for working on your property. Having this chipper will save you money in the long run. Congrats!!!

    Hugs,
    Sandy

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    1. Sandy - We are so, so fortunate in having good neighbors . . . not too close but close enough for sharing and helping each other out. And the "long run" is what you have to look at when putting out $$ (even just half the cost!) for a good piece of equipment, isn't it?

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  8. What a deal! That's a good idea for weed control too.

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    1. Kristina - I think it will really keep the weeds down in the blueberry patch. This rough chipped stuff I wouldn't want to put in the garden where I till it under, but for the berry patch I think it's going to be perfect.

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  9. Good neighbors like that are worth their weight in gold! There is nothing like a big ole pile of free mulch. I am working of the Mountain o' Mulch left by the utility company when they clear cut so many trees. A good and bad thing.

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    1. Susan - When life gives you lemons (destroyed trees), make lemonade (mulch for the garden). You go, girl!

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  10. I LOVE chips. All of the piles I had here have been used up, and now to start working on making more. Great looking garden you have. One of my goals here is to have a "pretty" garden. Yea, lots of chips!
    ~~Lori

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    1. Lori - When hubby and I first married, he didn't see much sense to making a garden "pretty." Boy, did he change his mind fast. Now he's always very complimentary about how nice the garden looks!

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  11. Fantastic! I have been wondering about the mulch idea....do you use grass clippings or old straw? and I love the chips. We are pondering new ideas for the garden. I am thinking grass clippings or old straw for the garden because of tilling it back in after the growing time is up.
    Great neighbor to neighbor relationship... not common much anymore!

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    1. M.E. Masterson - Now that we have the shredder, I would love to run straw through it for mulch. But straw isn't that easy to come by (and is expensive) up here so mostly I use grass clippings in the garden. Matter of fact, I mulch the whole garden with grass clippings and it's always amazing that by the end of the season they have "disappeared" into the soil even though I reapply layers all growing season long. I'm sure it enriches the soil as it decomposes and we have lots of earthworms in our soil.

      You are so right in that the horror stories I hear about folks with just awful neighbors make me so, so grateful for the ones we have. They would do anything for us and it's a very good, secure, happy feeling.

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