Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Best Mulch is Free Mulch



On our to-do list sometime this summer; order a couple dump truck loads of mulch and spread it around the Looney Bin, a real mud pit with all the spring rains. But, at $150 per load we wanted to wait until we knew what were doing what our new milk house/barn. Mulch would come after we knew what expenses would be needed for that bigger project, which is still up in the air right now. More on that in a couple days.

In the meantime, on the way home Tuesday from--heck if I can remember-- we saw some tree trimmers working near us. They were cutting down the tree limbs that get too close to the power lines. Connected to their truck was a large wood chipper, so they can clean up their debris as they go. Keith asked them what they do with the wood mulch and they were quite happy to leave a huge hill of the stuff at our place for NO CHARGE.



A couple hours later they did just that and we rewarded them with several pounds of our grass fed beef. We're hoping they'll bring us more mulch the next time they're in the neighborhood. Now if we can only find a source for free gravel...

With rain coming again today, we got very busy yesterday and managed to redistribute our mulch wealth over a couple of hours of time. Keith would fill the tractor bucket with mulch and then dump it into our two wheelbarrows (his is the manly rust covered thing, mine is the wussy women's model).





before spreading though, we had to move the bales of straw we used to add extra insulation around the outside. The spring rains had made them very wet and heavy so Keith used our best dolly. We'' use the partially decomposing straw in our gardens, to mulch those beds. Some of the wet hay was used as a border to keep the new mulch from sliding down the slope leading away from our Looney Bin foundation.



Keep in mind, the free mulch is not like the colored and neatly chopped stuff you buy in bags at Menards or your local gas station. Instead this mulch comes from a variety of tree species so it's quite coarse and of varying colors, but it smelled fantastic. All woodsy you know.

We had enough to completely cover the south side of the looney Bin, the path to our outdoor seating area and to make another wide path extending from the end of our sidewalk towards our car park area.


Since spreading it I have evened up the edges of the walkway somewhat, but this farm is far from manicured in its looks to begin with. Most of what we do here is for the pure functionality of it. (That's my rationalization and I'm sticking to it!)


Later, after Keith left for work, I continued on the tractor and got even more of the wide pathway completed. You''ll note by the deep tractor bucket "skid marks" that I am not near-no way, no how-as talented as my husband when it comes to using that hulking bucket. It goes up when I think I moving it down and it dumps everything out when I swear I'm moving all the right levels to make it scoop up things.




Still, we made a mighty dent in the mulch pile. Thanks again tree trimming guys!






















21 comments:

  1. Love those tree trimmers-we've used them before as well. Though-you are definitely the better person giving them grass fed beef (I had cookies. Not nearly as good!). What a great thank you......I'm sure they really appreciated that.

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    1. We appreciated not having to walk through mud to get to and from the Looney Bin!

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  2. The hydro guys do the same thing here, provide free mulch after they've cut back trees that are growing too close to overhead wires. I asked for a load one year, but it really is coarse, isn't it? Looks like your dogs approve! -Jenn

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    1. One good thing about the coarseness of it though, the chickens can't scratch through it very easily.

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  3. Nothing nicer than no charge, and nothing even nicer than mulch - especially at the beginning of your growing season. Good score :D

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    1. It has made me deliriously happy to have cleaner shoes.

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  4. Hi Donna :)) That's great that they were happy to bring you the mulch. In this area, and I do live in a touristy village, all I see is that rust-coloured mulch around everything. Yeah, it can be pretty, but people spend so much money on it every year. I like free! :)

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    1. I used to buy mulch that way and the dyes would get on my hands if it got wet. I had to wonder what was in it. We like the way this mulch smells too, very earthy, woodsy of course.

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  5. I love those jobs where it makes life more practical, to go about your daily stuff. Good on you, for taking the tractor out for a spin. :)

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    1. The first time I drove that tractor, about 5 years ago, I killed an innocent post holding up part of our horse pen. But, as I am now home full time it's time to conquer the tractor!!!

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  6. It looks like your wheelbarroow are making a baby? Lol. Great job on the free mulch!

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    1. Yes, yes it does. I wish when we put the trees close to each other they could make mulch magically appear as well.

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  7. Replies
    1. Been doing the happy it's free dance for several days now. I'm annoying myself.

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  8. Such a deal. I hear you on the equipment operation, my husband was a heavy equip. operator so I tend to get a lot of 'advice' when I'm driving. Last winter he had some heart issues so I was on snow clean up duty. I finally told him if he didn't go in the house and stop yelling 'instructions' I was going to run him over!

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    1. Keith is good about advice giving, very little and done quietly. The issue is all mine. If I can't do something well, I don't want witnesses. My ego needs to be run over.

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  9. A wonderful barter, we'll have to buy ours :(
    ~Jo

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    1. Keep an eye out for those tree trimmers. They are everywhere in the spring.

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  10. Dang!!!! I didn't know they would do that! About two years ago the county came through and cleared under our lines along the road and down the side of the property where it runs and connects to our power pole. Hmm, I'm going to have to ask about that next time. I wouldn't mind a load or two of that.

    And it looks awesome! Nice work!! congrats! (and no more muddy boots! theoretically, ha)

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    1. Do it! Get it! And still have muddy boots when out in pastures but when I walk back to the Looney Bin I can scuff them clean on the mulch. I look like a geriatric goof playing Choo-Choo-Train.

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  11. FREE GRAVEL According to Thelma O'Shaughnessy; our wonderful Mother; in the dead of night; take your wheel barrel and a shovel; go to the local town; and you shovel into the wheel barrel what you need. Now this make take a couple of trips; but if you are quiet and crafty it will get the deed done. The trick is when your done; you "smooth over" the pile where the gravel was taken and they are none the wiser. I can tell you from a first hand account and the eyes of a 10 year old; this method works well. :)

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