Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gleaning the cold land

But not for grains.  I've been picking up and repurposing various items across the homestead today:

  • A pile of ashes, left over from Ceredwyn's burn last month.  Sifting them crudely, I carried the less chunky stuff over to compost piles.  The bits of wood ended up in a pile for burning, with other burnable goodies (rotten wood).  They barely smell of char, at least to my chilled nose.
  • Rocks pried up (what our friend and neighbor calls "Vermont Dentistry"), then hauled to several useful places: an incomplete pond border, a slight runoff trench.
  • Shovelful after shovelful of gravel dug up from near the chicken enclosure, dumped into buckets, then schlepped to the driveway's most... challenging holes.
  • Heavy pieces of wood discovered in hiding places, prised loose, then put on top of woodpile coverings.  To protect against unusually high winds.
This kind of thing is a kind of economy, wringing value out of things already present.

It's also a form of knowledge: knowing the various crannies in the land, connecting them to needs elsewhere.

Above all, so tactile: the microclanking of gravel spilling on top of gravel, the lightness of a bucket of charred wood, the gentle crunch of earth so recently muddy, and now curiously friable.

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