Siftin’

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A homeowner sifts soil made from his compost b...

A homeowner sifts soil made from his compost bin in background. Composting is an excellent way to recycle household and yard wastes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the time Wednesday came around I hadn’t done much work outdoors and as I hadn’t any work scheduled I was free to do something if the weather held. However I wasn’t in the mood for work at all, I was tired. I got up very early and had eaten breakfast before 7.30 that was after I had put some clothes in the machine to be washed. It was a little before 10 o’clock when I decided to make the effort and do something but first I had to hang out the washing. Usually I hang it in the cellar but E had all three lines down there full of washing already which meant I had to hang it on the line in the garden. Rain was forecast to fall but not until later in the afternoon so I donned a pair of overalls and boots and began to filter the soil in the flowerbed we are in the process of clearing up. It goes like this. I have three buckets to hand, a spade and a sieve (a circular piece of metal with a mesh in the base to filter out debris) and an old chair on which to sit whilst shaking the sieve containing a shovel full of soil to be filtered. Sitting down rather than standing makes the task easier and less troublesome for the back muscles. Plant debris goes into one bucket, large stones in another whilst the smallest stones go into the third. The stones then go into plastic bags to either be washed later or discarded. The plant debris is put into the green waste bin. It is surprising just how many stones find their way into the soil. The main object of the exercise, and believe me it is exercise, is that filtering removes unwanted bulbs such as bluebells and montbretia. Other nuisance plants such as weeds are more readily removed when simply digging the soil but the removal of stones is a bonus when filtering with a sieve. After only an hour and a quarter I’d had enough and put everything away. It had been tiring working in the heat wearing overalls but although the clouds began to roll in it remained warm. The afternoon was pleasant though getting increasingly cloudy but I was too tired to do any more work. I guess I had been overdoing it lately. There is no hurry anyway. Whilst I was working away from home on Monday E had been painting the worktop surfaces in the top room. She had also spent time in there on Tuesday and continued the work again on Wednesday. It is just as well she is able to do the work for it eases the burden upon me and leaves me the time to do other things.

Shirley Anne

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