Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Learning to Work, to Recycle, to Wait

We've composted for 20+ years, but last year the girls heard about "lasagna gardening," and they've been itching to try it. You can read here to find out how to develop a lasagna garden:

Although we re-use most of our feed bags for more feed, we have been saving the feed bags that are made of only paper to be used in this project because we don't like the idea of adding to the landfills something that can be beneficial. Recently, we started a "lasagna garden" in our yard under some trees where I've wanted to have a shade garden. The first activity in a lasagna garden is to put down layers of paper. The directions say, "three layers of newspaper," but since feed bags are thicker, we used one layer  of feed bags as our first layer.

Then came the grunt work, so to speak. The girls had to clean out the buck's barn and the chicken barn. This is not the most glamorous job, to be sure, but all of the decomposed hay and refuse will really add nutrients to our project. This house cleaning for the animals is done at least twice a year anyway, so we were glad to add this to our lasagna garden rather than to the compost pile this time as our second layer.

 As any homeschool mom will tell you, everything in life is a lesson for the entire family. This spring when the electric company sent the tree trimmers around the community, my wonderful husband saw an opportunity. He stopped and asked the company to send four truck loads of chips to our address when the trimmers were working around us. (This saved them time and energy as they didn't have to go unload the truck at the landfill, so they were happy to do this.)  We used these chips in our  project as the third layer.

The girls worked really hard. Then came one of the great lessons of life:  delayed gratification. Yes, they have to wait until spring to be able to reap the benefits of all that work! The layers must have time to decay before the girls can put in the plants. In this day and age, it's not easy for us to wait for anything. We have information at our fingertips, food at every grocery store ( even 'out of season' food),  instant everything.

Learning to work, to recycle, to beautify, to wait.....  It's all good.

No comments: