The chip factory

the chip factoryI was sure that this was the title of a previous entry. But short of reading laboriously through every post since June 2007 again, I’m going to risk being repetitive.

Guilt feelings about shattering the peace of the countryside accompanied each and every trip for more sticks. But I am delighted with the results.   Especially as my ear muffs keep me so toasty and warm.

before edf branchesMy main source of the chippy sticks came courtesy of Electicite de France’s trusty chainsaws. One day last month when I wasn’t looking they roared up to the property and cut away any branches threatening to touch the electricity lines. Down came some mighty chestnut branches. And as they were in such a rush to fulfil their quota they just left the branches where they fell.Branches to chipclearning EDF branches

And on with the scavenging for those of us lower down the food chain.   With help cutting the logs into smaller chunks, I spent a happy afternoon collecting the sticks, dragging them to the chipper (which doesn’t thrive away from a power socket) and turning them into mulch.

extra mulch on bedsThe bark chips now reside on the newly created calabert bed, plus extra for the lilac bed in the east garden, more around the plants in the shade garden. And finally lots under the walnut tree on the path up to the top vegetable bed.

That short paragraph belies how much work is involved. But warm work on a cold day never goes unremarked. And one has to earn the christmas cake somehow.

Sticks collectedFor an encore we even went down to the lower terrace and finished off the dead oak and chestnut trees that were felled in the summer. Andrew thinks that if I can get three inches of mulch on the beds I stand a good chance of being weedless, as well as locking in the moisture and mulching the plants.

Here’s hoping it works. It certainly helps with the aesthetics of felled trees.mulched under walnut tree