On recycling

One way to cool your cuppa while you do your outside chores

I mentioned in my post yesterday that our farm, being an old one, had some archaeological treasures. I should clarify: Speed things up about a couple thousand years, and this might be so. Otherwise, let’s say it had “garbage dumps.”

Yes, it is relatively well known that those big garbage trucks that rumble down 98% of this country’s roads today are a recent invention. In cities, yes, municipalities realized early that they need to offer garbage services to its citizens, or a high price would be paid in terms of disease and vermin and the like. But in the country? Pshaw. That’s for RICH folks. The Old Fart farmer we bought this place from burned everything he could, and that which was not burned was chucked to a high point on the land. I mean, you could LOOK at the garbage from a long way off. What kind of sense is that? Cheap Farmer Sense, is whut.

My romantic notion of farmers as Good Stewards of the Earth was rather dashed. It’s kind of like soiling the nest. Why would you DO that?

But notice that upon which my coffee cup is set. It is the gate, the old wooden gate, from an old farm truck. I retrieved it from The Pile and put it to new use as a table on the back deck. I confess I adore old crap like this. I really shouldn’t, too, as I am an architect and am supposed to worship the New, and the Newly Built (especially if it comes from my office).

Oh, the pile? I got a 20-yard dumpster and schlepped all the stuff into it, along with all the other crap we pulled out of the house (flooring, curtains, canned cauliflower from 1983…). And now I have an arbor on top of its cleared ground. But I still find “treasures.”

7 responses to “On recycling

  1. the County Clerk


    My country place is fairly littered with all kinds of rusted stuff. I’ve spend many dollars and many hours trying to rectify this and have not made a dent (it seems). And turning over a new garden? Fahgetabowdid. Garbage.

    Farms are businesses of course. Garbage removal is an expense. And it is noce to have some space to do things… pile things up… like dirt/manure.

    Many of my neighbors pay to have the horse manure hauled away. I don’t. I just build mountains out of it… far away mountains. Two years later (with some turning and the addition of some things) I have mountains of soil…. and then I take that particular mountain down.

    But be thankful your is not a horse farm though. My horse manure composting process yeilds rich soil… but soil that is populated by undigested weed seeds. It took several years of wondering just what the hell is going on the garden with all these weeds (a staggering abundance) until it occured to me: horses eat grass. AHHH! So now I have to sterilize it somehow? What is THAT gonna cost? How much work will that be?

    But you know what you are doing. The blessings of a spread out life are SO MUCH MORE NUMEROUS than the hundred little “rural” things. And just think: when you apply your suburban garden mentality to a rural plot, you will get a country cottage estate and not a farm. That’s what I always strove for anyway.

  2. Ah the notion of the old time good steward farmer. Haha. But bless the souls that dumped all their glass in the same place. Because an old farm bottle dump is a thing of beauty (even though they are always in a wetland) and I could and have spent hours sifting through glass for treasure. To come across an intact cobalt blue jar or that turquoise canning jar or a curvy bottle that once held a mystery perfume? Such fun. I wonder if a plastic Mt. Dew bottle will inspire future generations the same way?

  3. Even in ‘town’ when digging a garden I’ve found beautiful pieces of broken china, old marbles, small bottles, horseshoes and 2 silver rings! I always put my treasures on the windowsill over the kitchen sink so I could watch over them and wonder who had them first.

  4. Thanks, Anonymous, as I remember quite well finding loads of marbles, bits of toys and then old broken pieces of china in my old city garden. The marbles and broken toys I could easily understand, but I was always scratching my head about the broken plates and cups. I mean, wouldn’t you see them?

    You must see a lot of weird things, Meredith. You’re an environmental engineer, right?

    Hank, I still would love to have weedseed-filled composted manure. And you’re right, it’s a much nicer life if you’re spread out a bit (and we are so very grateful).

    And Jane: Speed your bottle dump up another 1800 years or so and it would be fascinating. I spent half a summer sifting through such a garbage pile, though the one I sifted through was 2300 years old in an ancient olive grove in Italy. (That was a fun summer, albeit a dirty one.)

  5. there was actually a car on our property. well, it WAS a car. a really old, al capone era-looking car. it was kind of cool with all these weeds and even saplings growing through it.

    i’m glad to read all of these stories b/c i know i am not alone! a dumpster rental is on our list of spring fun.

  6. farmer, vet and feeder of all animals

    Treasures! hahahaha Is that what you politely call them? WE only find useless crap. No “attic” full of hidden treasures here unfortunately. And I believe we had a “farmer in the nest” here too.

  7. Biologist. Not good enough at math to tempt the engineer part. I do see a lot of weird stuff. Part of the fun of the job. I also cart a lot of weird stuff home. I sould rebury it in my yard to confound some future home owner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s