For those who have emailed asking about Billy after reading the blog titled “Firewood Fiasco,” I am pleased to say that a dear friend, Kelle Mcentegart and her husband (who seriously is the father of the year) assembled several men from her church to help Billy gather wood. Billy also has a splitter. As you will see in the photo, he still uses the “old fashion horsepower” to split wood.
Mercy, what are we going to do with him?
So to the members of the Masonic Lodge, and the men of Kelle’s church I want to say thank you for your help. To the man who donated the fallen tree, “thank you.” You could have said no and called someone to chip the wood into mulch. We are thankful for your generosity.
We also know how important Saturdays are and for everyone who gave their gift of time, we know you prefer to remain anomyous. Still, your hardwork certainly is appreciated. “Thank you, thank you, thank you !” Now, for those who showed up in my front yard two weeks ago to “visit” , but didn’t lift the first piece of wood, ya’ll might want to do some soul searching.
While I’m on the topic of wood:
It’s time to clean out your fireplace and put those wood ashes to work in your garden. Back in the day, farmers used everything at their disposal to fertilize their gardens. Today, we seem to overlook the importance of wood ash. I’m attaching a short article from UCDavis.edu which will explain that using ashes is simple and beneficial. Just sprinkle them on top of the ground and basically, you’re done! Then you don’t need to add potash to your soil.
Now, onto other things I add to my soil.
Even though the City picks up newspapers, I recycle my own by shredding them and then incorporating the paper into the soil. Since we are in the rainy (and snowy) season, I do this now by lightly raking the dirt back, applying a thin layer of shredded newspaper, watering lightly, then returning the dirt on top of the newspaper. I try to accomplish this before a rain (or snowstorm) because the increased moisture level will accelerate decomposition then in the spring you’ll have rich soil. Of course in the summer I add another layer of paper before I mulch.
Finally, don’t toss those coffee grounds and tea bags in the trash. Heavens no child! Save these grounds and sprinkle them (year round) on top of your flower and vegetable gardens.
Happy gardening and remember, keep those hands dirty.
Renea Winchester is a two-time winner of the Appalachan Writer’s Award for Essay. Her work has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Georgia Backroads, Smoky Mountain Living and Long Leaf Style, Georgia Magazine as well as Georgia Public Radio 90.1 FM. She is a frequent contributor to http://Southernauthors.blogspot.com and http://www.grit.com. Her memoir, In The Garden With Billy: Lessons about Life, Love and Tomatoes, was released October 2010, by Little Creek Books.