Free Bamboo and Horse Manure

5 04 2009

Long before “The Secret” came out I believed in the philosophy of abundance. It’s been my experience that anytime I truly wanted something it would come to me. I like to think of this phenomenon as asking for gifts from the Universe. It has always been a game for me to imagine some random thing that I wanted and to have it appear, within a week or so, upon a visit to a flea market or garage sale. Recently, the effects of abundance are in full swing.

The soil here is pure sand. In order to cultivate plants you need to fertilize or compost. I have a modest compost heap, but have been looking for some manure to give it a kick-start. I posted an ad on Craigslist and got a reply from someone who lives almost an hour away. Because of the distance I have not made the trip. Besides, I know there are many horse owners much closer. Yesterday I found an ad on Craigslist for free horse manure just a few miles down the road. We drive past this place many times per week, so it isn’t even out of the way. Within the next week I plan to go by and pick up a load for the garden.

A couple of years ago AJ and I gained access to a stand of timber bamboo. This is the huge stuff that is used for building in Asia. We grew quite fond of this renewable grass and began getting creative with ways to utilize it. This supplier only allowed us to cut the dead bamboo. That was fine because it was already cured (which normally takes weeks). Unfortunately, we had to separate the dead stalks from the living stand, which was a daunting task which included enduring biting ants and stinging sap, in addition to the hard labor of extricating the living stalks from the live stand. Still, our efforts were worthwhile as we (mostly AJ) built a beautiful bamboo fence at the edge of our pad.

In this picture the bamboo fence is two years old. Since we did not treat the bamboo, it has faded to a uniform gray. When the fence was new it was a beautiful array of gold and green. One of our projects is to remove the old fence (which is beginning to rot at the base) and replace with a new version constructed of bamboo rods mounted above the  ground and attached to two by fours like a true fence. We also plan to cure the bamboo properly and coat with polyurethane to prevent fading and decay. Although we have had this project in the works for a while, we have not located a new source of bamboo.

Pregravel1

The Oasis raised bed is made of pickle buckets arranged in an oval and filled with soil. The decorative fascia is comprised of small bamboo stakes pounded into the ground around the perimeter. AJ provided this bamboo from a stand he found on the river. It took him three trips in our small boat to collect enough to border this garden bed. The trellises are also made of small bamboo tied together to support the tomatoes and other tall plants.

Gravel9

The Oasis 2 is our next project. Once the containers are arranged and filled with soil I will border it with bamboo just like The Oasis. In order to hide the unsightly junk on the lot behind us I want to build a large bamboo trellis for the pole beans, lima beans and cucumbers. Hopefully, this will completely obscure the entire lot and create a nice natural screen. Next weekend we will purchase the topsoil, and with the horse manure will be well prepared to plant the beans, melons and cucumbers that are maturing rapidly from my Victory Seed stock.

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Today I found an ad on Craigslist for free bamboo. The owner has a large tract of land with over twenty species of bamboo, all for the taking.  We will go by on Monday to have a look. I am sure that there will be enough bamboo to complete all of our projects and then some.

Even more exciting is  the project that we started today and should have finished by tomorrow. AJ’s dad (Allan Sr.)  came into town last night and is staying through the weekend. Last night I was exhausted and too tired to socialize. I got a good night’s sleep and this morning felt much better.  Today Allan Sr. proposed to finance and create a project that we have been wanting to do for four years. Stay tuned for the update tomorrow, when we should be finished and have photos to post!

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