A year’s supply of delight

One day. One day’s work and it’s done. I have a whole year’s supply of gorgeous chipped branches… and it’s only the first week of the New Year.

It feels marvellous. Well it will when I take some painkillers and get a good restorative night’s sleep. For the sake of this garden and this farm, I have been hauling sacks all day.

It started at my neighbours’ home – they lost most of a fig tree and some significant branches from their huge twisted willow from the snow storm. Enter Nicolas and his shiny new chipping machine.

And as he chipped, I was there (suitably ear muffed) with my trusty bags, filing sacks and sacks and sacks of delight.

I did my big with the rake and the stacking of the larger fig logs. One has to earn one’s loot.

44 of them.

In three loads in the back of the station wagon and over to my potager. Luckily it is only a five minute drive as I was a bit anxious for the wheel axles. The weight of freshly chipped heavy wood is something to experience. None of this flyaway lightweight desiccated pine branches that I used to loot at the depot in town.

But I paced the loads and myself and even came up with a brilliant solution about where to put them.

The easy solution would have been to dump them all at the parking area which is about 100 metres from their ultimate destination.

I can’t barrow them there are the moment as the access is blocked by the builders mess. Plus Nicolas was reducing that monster pile to mulch (the din, the roar) up there, hardly conducive to unpacking the loads. So I managed to weave my way between the two vehicles of the stone masons pouring concrete for the building extension and get almost close to the courtyard and potager edge.

Yes, gravity has at long last come to my aid. It hasn’t been my friend when I had to drag each and every darn branch uphill to the piles by the road.

Now all I had to do was get the wheelbarrow, stack the sacks, and wheel them to the edge of the courtyard and tip them over the top of the high wall to the potager below.

It’s a mighty mess anyway with all the gravel stockpiled…. So what’s another mountain of material ready to transform my once glorious vegetable garden.

For good measure I added 15 sacks from the growing piles of BRF (what we call chippings in France – bois raméal fragmentée) that was now glowing brightly at the top of the parking area.

And then decided I had enough. Well my body had enough from dragging the loads. And I was finally able to wipe the grin / grimace and eat lunch in the blazing sunshine with Nicolas, Stéphane and Simon.

The two stone masons had made their New Years resolutions to give up the fags. Mine was to chip all the branches and sticks from the storm damage and build up enough stocks to turn my permaculture beds into things of beauty and glory.

Guess which one of the three of us has their wishes come true?