Saturday, July 25, 2009

Of compost bins and bee baths...

Bees are good. Bees and countless other creatures tend to have a hard time these days what with everyone mowing down wild grasses, wildflowers, and meadows into stunted useless wildlife-unfriendly lawns. The rampant use of herbacides and pesticides compounds the problem.
One day I would love to have our own bee hive or two, but we currently have our hands full with all our other projects right now.
In the meantime, I read about ways to make one's back yard a little more 'bee friendly'. One big way to attract bees is to provide them with drinking water. So today i bought this simple ceramic bird bath, which I laid upon flat slate in my garden and filled with fresh water. There is a stone in it to provide footing for any bees or other insects that accidentally fall in and need to crawl out. Not only will birds and bees and other insects enjoy it, but I find it pleasingly meditative to look at. Look how prettily the crabapple tree branches are reflecting in the water's surface!

Today I also bought two compost bins and set them up in back of our shed. I've already put about 8 inches' worth of pulled weeds in the first one. It'll be great when the autmn leaves fall, and also when I do the Fall garden vegetable cleanup. I'll still put my prime fruit and vegetable parings in my worm compost bin, but these traditional compost bins will handle the bigger yard loads of green stuff. I'll need to get a little manure now and then to add into the mix, I think.
They are very well designed and made from recycled plastic, and I think they will last us many more years than the usual home-made circle of mesh or wooden pallet arrangements. I like that they can be unstacked and restacked as you fork the contents over to the new spot to turn it. There is no bottom, it just gets stacked right on open ground. I like that too.
In the photo, the bins are behind our shed, and you can see our house and kitchen porch in the background on the left, and the new garden's fence just showing on the right.

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