Saturday, November 5, 2011

Unfamiliar Text

NCEA exams are no longer on the horizon. They are coming into shore on a speed boat and boys are busy getting in final assignments, applications and folios.
They didn't do so well in unfamiliar texts for English so we are going to have some practice together over the next week. We all 'see' according to our level of expertise but there must be some broad rules that apply to most things. For the person who covered one of my compost heaps with red hot poker debris, blue gum leaves, rose prunings, couch and what looked like Pyracantha prunings-branches with spiny thorns my advice would be: 'look at the end result or the big picture' or to put it another way, 'What is the purpose?'
In a compost bin you are looking to make compost.

For the person who tipped buckets of food scraps on top of another tarpaulin covered heap I would suggest 'Look for a pattern'. If there is a heap amongst the five that has fresh food debris on top, go for the obvious and follow suit. Like with like.
Compost has been a very gratifying success this year. Thanks to the briars and thorns keeping me out I still had a beautiful stash for the glasshouse come tomato time. It has hitherto missed out and the compost has made a big difference to watering times, about every five days instead of everyother day at this time of year. The compost piles I made on site in the glasshouse in late winter were a cinch to spread out as a thick if rough, mulch. The wheelbarrow can take a holiday; on-site heaps are the way to go.

Now you can see below how the plants are thriving  in this mulch. We had a frost or two recently that has clipped the wings of about half the potatoes in the next glasshouse but tomatoes don't seem to have suffered. I was gifted various trays of seedlings of which I've used about 80. By the time I got them the labels were gone and I know one tray were sweet 100's. So much for my strictly moneymaker and beefsteak. All will be revealed in time.

On the first read through the text we'll be underlining literary devices and any sort of patterning; garden equivalent would be my sorting out the plants from the weeds which is what I'm doing in Dunedin to rescue any treasures that have survived. 

Louis had to create something out of a complete sheet of paper for his design application.
It's a viewing box where you look through the peephole, through a set of bars to see 'Freedom' in the distance. He suggested it was something some fellow students might like to use to get a preview of their future if they didn't make some lifestyle changes. We knew living in the country would give them a different perspective on life... I don't know what we thought it would be. I choose freedom.

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  1. Hi there

    Do you not have problems with rodents in your on-site compost? When we emptied our compost bin last week to mulch the vege garden, we disturbed the serenity of at least half a dozen mice (Ros screamed and said they were rats, but I'm pretty sure she was exaggerating! Well I hope so). Yuck. Now I'm very uncertain about our it OK to use on the vege garden...will they come back....what are we doing wrong....aaargh! Nicola

  2. Yes I think Louis' amazing paper sculpture speaks to more people than just high school age kids looking at their future. (It's very cool Louis, I hope they like it).
    The garden in Dunedin must look like a piece of cake compared with the scale of the huge one you've been looking after in the last few years, I'm looking forward to seeing it in Dec!

  3. Hi Nicola, small boys party out of the way I am free to reply. For your own future reference, 13 boys for a sleepover was too many. I spent all my time doing things especially food and clearing up and didn't get any time to get to know them better so thatwas a shame. 11 yr olds are great.Now compost,our cat spends alot of time by the compost bin so if you are adding kitchen scraps I think mice are par for the course. I'm using the bokashi bucket for kitchen scraps at the minute which I then bury so that does away with that problem unless Its not deep enough and then something, I think hedgehogs, gets in and scuffs it up. The compost will be fine and it is a wonderful mulch. Happy gardening.

  4. That is an awesome sculpture! About my brick paths, I used a special sand mix called Pave Lock. When you have swept it all between the bricks, you hose it and the water sets it. It's not as solid as concrete but it holds the bricks together and helps prevent weeds growing. I used builder's mix (coarse gravel) under the bricks but didn't worry about a sand layer. Oh and don't forget the weedmat too!