Thursday, March 25, 2010

Carbon material

Earlier in the week, I stopped and spoke with an Amish man who has a small sawmill at his dairy, inquiring about getting saw dust from him. He was happy to continue letting the gentleman who cleans up for him take care of it. When I got home, Anne said she had good news: a friend had dropped by to chat for a while, and she said that we could get saw dust at a small saw mill in Marrowbone. Well, I was busy working on a project Tuesday and Wednesday, so I couldn't get to the mill to see about acquiring saw dust until today.

This mill is only 10 miles away mostly across country roads. The guy in the loader said that I could help myself to the saw dust and take all I wanted, when I asked him about it. He didn't offer to load it, and I didn't ask him. As I show up for loads regularly, he may be more willing to load, but I'm not afraid of manual labor (working a shovel). Thankfully, I had taken the scoop shovel. I was able to back the truck right up to the pile to load it which didn't take long.
After unloading here at home, we (my good friend Danny was with me) hooked up the trailer and headed for another load.

The pile of sawdust is gorgeous. Apparently, when the pile gets too high, the push the saw dust back away from the auger that unloads it.


There's another pile of chipped bark from their debarking machine. We loaded the trailer with this material and then filled the truck with saw dust.

I took another photo with the trailer loaded. We used pitch forks for loading this material, and that worked pretty well.

Here’s a photo of the truck loaded with saw dust. We covered the load with the tarp so that not too much of it would blow away. Notice the dark material in the background: that's where they have pushed the saw dust and chipped bark in the past and let it sit. I'll have to ask about acquiring some of that good looking stuff, too. . .

When we got home, it was time to employ the "burrito-method" of unloading to get the material off of the trailer. It unloaded great.

The trailer load dumped right on top of the first load of saw dust.

Here's the carbon material we hauled today in two trips.

In the morning, I'm heading in the opposite direction to haul home some more material from the sale barn. They cleaned out some of the back lots today, and I want to get some of that back here. If that hauling goes well, I'll haul three or four loads of carbon material in the afternoon. Then, this Sunday, after a nice rest on the 7th day, I'll build a beautiful compost pile.

I bought a new tractor (as I mentioned in my previous post). Here is a photo of it:

It’s a 1976 Case 990 with a loader. The loader has been well used, broken, and repaired, but it’ll work for my purposes. It’s like having 100 men with shovels and pitchforks ready and willing to work for me, something not to be taken for granted. It's a great tool.

I’m thrilled about having a source for carbon material. It’s one more step toward extreme composting!


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