Neighborhood Cooperation

Sep 5, 2012

Ever had a day when there are so many jobs to do in the yard that it seems half the day is used in deciding what to tackle?  If you’re a regular gardener, that feeling is the norm!  Take the last two week-ends for example.  Since I only have a single green-waste container, it seems as though my pruning and clean-up chores are confined to what fits in the bin.  I had a green ash tree which had 2 limbs that needed to be removed as well as a row of privets that needed their “skirts” lifted.  The result was that in less than 2 hours, the bin was full of woody branches and I still needed space to put another 2 garbage cans full of limbs that needed a home.

I can hear the words, “You need a compost heap” coming, but when the branches are over 2” in diameter options are not many options.  I live in Suisun City at the edge of the Suisun Marsh.  Compost heaps which do not get “hot” enough tend to make excellent housing for the various mice and rats which don’t like cold, rainy winters and springs.  Then there are the raccoons and possums which come around looking for any spare snacks and keep the neighborhood dogs going in the early evening and the even earlier dawn.  I’ve given up any compost heaps with food scraps and gone only for those of leaves and twigs.

So far, so good!  No more animals traipsing across the yard (almost 1/3 acre), climbing fences and digging under said fences!  No more rats’ nests at the edge of compost heaps nor under the house and in the walls!  No mouse droppings on the deck.

You may ask how I manage to dispose of all my branches and such at no extra cost: do I blow things into the neighbors’ yards, toss in the street, or toss over fences?  Nope! Easier than that – I share my neighbor’s green waste cans. I don’t even have to ask – they have graciously left their almost empty bins (they only use their bins for grass clippings) for me to fill and in exchange, I pull them back up to the respective homes!  A simple and win-win for us all!  It’s a neighborhood thing; in kind, when the big family gathering season is on, their garbage is loaded into my garbage can which is rarely over 1/3 full!

Neighbors, ya got to love ‘em!