Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category

Scissors as specialists

Monday, 23 August 2010

NaBloPoMo August logoI really don’t do multi-purpose scissors. We do own a couple more pairs than are represented here (in particular my hair scissors, which I don’t quite recall the location of) but these are the ones that get used on a regular basis, and woe betide the person (not my DH, who quite gets this) who goes to use the wrong ones…

scissors 001

So, from left, these are:

  1. my fabric shears (which also get used for yarn and thread, because I can’t always be bothered switching to the little ones in the middle;
  2. my secateurs (mostly used for trimming the stems of cut flowers, but also useful when taming outdoor plants which try to prevent one leaving your home);
  3. my nail scissors (above the secateurs);
  4. the thread scissors which came with the fabric shears, and which I really don’t actually use all that often, but which turned up while I was looking for my errant hair scissors);
  5. my food scissors (using scissors on food is a trick I learned from my mother – so much easier than using knives on everything from nuts to pizza – but which has obviously caught on among other people too, considering one can buy them marked ‘Dairy’, ‘Meat’ or ‘Pareve’ for the kosher market, and these even come apart so you can clean them fully, but actually work properly when put back together again);
  6. my paper scissors

Thankfully they’re all fairly different in appearance (and mostly kept in different places, according to their function and most useful place) so they don’t tend to get mixed up. I’m sure most crafters, at least, have specialist scissors which mayn’t be used for anything else – how about the rest of you?

Greenery

Sunday, 6 July 2008

It’s been a quiet (read unmemorable) but nice weekend. The weather has been fairly stormy today, so I only went out in the evening, but caught up on some things at home. I continue to work my way through thick books and large crochet projects, so there’s little to report, I’m afraid.

191. All About Compost: Recycling household and garden waste by Pauline Pears

I grew up with a small bin in the kitchen for compostable waste, which got emptied once (or more) each day onto the compost heap(s) at the end of the garden, so it’s been a big relief to have one of those small bins again in the flat. We don’t have our own compost heap, living in an upstairs flat, but we do have a green bin for food and garden waste that the council collects each week.

I really dislike throwing vegetable peelings and the like in the rubbish. I didn’t have the choice before, but putting that kind of thing into landfill (or incineration) makes absolutely no sense, as it makes the rubbish smell while still in the house, and then simply bulks out the waste, often contaminating what might be recyclable.

As this book clearly and graphically shows, food and garden waste should, and can easily be, fed back into the cycle of growth, providing fertility, moisture retention and added nutrition to more produce. The book is, of course, aimed at those who will do the composting in their own gardens, for their own use, and shows a variety of techniques for managing and taking advantage of the chosen system, but I found it of interest both in terms of how my family manages theirs, and also how our fruit peel and hedge trimmings (etc.) decompose and become part of a more industrialised version.

Hm, my borough (which I won’t be identifying) explains exactly how they process what comes out of the bins to make it into rich compost, but not what they do with that compost! Presumably they use some in the parks and green spaces, but does that take all of it? Do they sell some to other institutions, or to the public? I have no idea.