Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I've finished the compost bin ...

... as you can see. Well, when I say "finished", I don't really mean "finished", because as you can see, it's a modular structure. I have aboout 10 of these square modules and I can stack them one on top of another, increasing the height as I build up the heap and decreasing the height as the contents compost down. As you will note, there are air gaps to aerate the heap. This helps the composting process.

The base of the heap is an old air bed that has given up the ghost. I did have some special stuff to use but like anything else around here I can't find anything when I really want it. The air bed will have to do. The purpose of that is to suppress whatever weeds might want to push their way up through the heap.

There are two other compost bins. One has rotted down nicely and when I empty it (by adding the contents to the raised beds) I can take it apart and use the modules to build up the bin here. They will fit of course because the modules are all the same size - namely 875mm long. And why 875mm long? I hear you ask. Because they were made from a job lot of 3500mm planks that were cut into fours.

The other bin won't be emptied for another year. That bin was only started a year ago and so it still needs time to settle down. The contents of all of that will go into the raised beds next winter and then I can move it to behind the one there - where the spade is standing up.

Once that was organised I started to dig over the ground to the right of it - where the garden fork is lying down. I have a raised bed from the first attempt at gardening, one of 3500mm x 1000mm, left over from that and the plan is to run it across there, behind the last row of raised beds, and plant the soft fruit bushes in it. This year though, I'll use it for the new potatoes.

Preparing that patch is not easy. It's part of the primeval forest and there is a ton of ground alder in it as well as huge masses of thick tree roots. All of these have to come out and it's taking ages. It won't be finished for a bit.

In other news, long-time readers of these pages will recall me talking about Yakima Canutt. He was a stunt man from the late 1920s who was picked up by a very young John Wayne and co-starred with him in some of his earliest films of the 1930s. When acting became much more sophisticated, Canutt was one of the thousands of actors who were clearly not up to it and disappeared from the silver screen. Wayne didn't abandon him, however, and on the later (as in 1934/35/36) batch of Wayne's B-feature movies, the second-unit director is none other than one Yakima Canutt.

So what's the interest in him tonight? Well, this evening I was relaxing with a DVD, Breakheart Pass, starring Charles Bronson. Based on a story by Alastair Maclean, it's easily one of the best of the "non-western westerns", even if the directing is totally awful and we have to put up with Bronson's appalling floozie Jill Ireland, without whom he won't go anywhere even if she can't act to save her life and who hasn't recovered from co-starring as the outrageous Kenneth Williams' grilfriend in Carry On Nurse [DVD] when she really could have passed as someone's daughter.  

But anyway, before I bore you all to death, I happened to notice the credits of Breakheart Pass as the rolled by. And who was the second-unit director and stunt co-ordinator? Yes, none other than one Yakima Canutt. He kept on going until he was 90.

And the snow? Well, you can see all about that in the photo above. Not a flake.

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