Belle of Dirt

Missouri Ozarks mom, mover of earth, photographer, maker and plant enthusiast


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Twice baked recycling

I am now 15 weeks into recovery from a rotator cuff repair/arthritis removal of my right shoulder. Apparently, the last few years of remodeling house has not been kind to my joints. I built up some bone spurs on both my shoulder joint and my collar bone, which were steadily tearing my rotator cuff to shreds while I dry-walled, tiled and painted on our lake house for months, getting it ready to sell. As soon as the papers were signed, I scheduled myself for surgery. The pain had been ridiculous some nights, bad others, just general suckiness the rest of the time. The MRI didn’t show what the surgeon told me afterwards, that I had torn my rotator cuff completely through, there was nothing but a big hole and tattered edges over a nice bone spur on my collar bone. I watched the video they sent home with me and wasn’t surprised that I hurt afterwards for weeks.
I didn’t get to go to rehab after surgery (insurance issues), so I wound up putting together my own rehab schedule. Which seems to be serving me well, as I’m out and doing garden stuff I wasn’t supposed to be able to do until the end of May/June. Thank goodness for YouTube, you can learn to do anything there! I’m amazed at how LITTLE pain I have now. I still have to be careful… I’m not going to be lifting hundreds of pounds with that arm or slinging bails of hay from dawn to dusk, but I can use the weed eater now without wanting to cry, which is just about as pathetic to look at as you imagine. I did minimal gardening last year. I put in a few bulbs, grew my tomato plants, that was about it.
This year, I’ve already cleaned out the lean-to, cut down dead trees, hauled and stacked wood, burned brush piles and built a little cage to hold a bunch of kindling for the fire pit. The fenced garden here is huge. I know I’ve said this before, but it really is just HUGE. Even this year, I’m probably still only going to be using 1/4 of the available space in there. I have a pile of broken stuff in one area that I haven’t hauled off yet and might possibly, maybe in some way down the road be useful somehow. This is the stuff that will find it’s way to the dump when I’m in a purge mood, but yesterday, it got recycled instead.
I had a tire that had once been used for a raised garden bed. I don’t build raised beds in tires, I use hugelkulture mounds, so most of the tires in the garden were of no use for me. (yet) I had some welded wire tomato cages that the ground stakes had snapped off and couldn’t be used for cages anymore. There were a couple portions of chicken wire that were too small to be of much use for anything- I tried to use them to keep the raccoon out of the watermelon last year, to no avail. I took all these scrap pieces, that were already recycled from Paw Paw’s previous garden projects and recycled them again into a kindling cage for our fire pit. We had a big pile of sticks behind the wood pile, that looked unorganized and messy (as a pile of sticks will).

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The tire already had holes drilled into the bottom for drainage. I opened up the two welded wire tomato cages with some pliers and re-bent them to fit inside the tire, then closed them around each other again. Now they were one giant tomato cage with no stakes on the bottom; but this was ok, because I shoved them tight against the inside of the tire, and it holds them upright and in place. The chicken wire I wrapped around the bottom of the outside, since that welded wire is pretty rusted and I didn’t want someone scraping their leg against it accidentally and having to run out for a tetanus shot. I then broke up all my sticks into handy kindling size and dropped them in the cage. We now have kindling in a neat container near the fire pit and I have several fewer pieces of junk in my garden. I figure it will be of use at least another several years and if it breaks, I’m out nothing. Maybe by then, I’ll have more scraps to build a new one with. 🙂
This week, I need to get some poop around fruit trees and cut down a dead apple up front, so nothing all that exciting or blog worthy. I do have seedlings coming through, so might write a bit on those. It’s all good shoulder rehab, have to strengthen that rotator cuff back up!

-B

 

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