Yard waste collection day is one of my favorite things. Although we have several big compost bins at the back of the garden, things like logs, bug branches, dog poo, cedar clippings and weeds can’t go in the compost but need to be taken away. We have refined the art of “compaction filling”, which means that one of my assistants steps into the full bin and jumps up and down to compress the material so that more material can fit into the bin. By the time the bin is full, it is extremely heavy and I often imagine our yard waste traveling from the bin to the truck and beyond in a single, huge block.
We never have enough space in our own yard waste bins for all the junk from our yard so we end up storing our yard waste in a bunch of garbage cans in the back until there is enough space. I recently realized that many of our neighbors don’t fully utilize their yard waste bins, which is an excellent opportunity for us. I just needed to figure out how to create a strong incentive for sharing that space.
It just so happens that the Martha Stewart of Dunbar (MSD)* is e-tutoring me to make jam. How it works is that every time I try to can anything, I describe the dilemma (jam is too watery,…etc) take pictures on my phone and email them to the MSD. She then tells me what to do and it usually solves the problem. So far, I have successfully made marmalade as well as raspberry/strawberry jam with fruit from our garden. I am hoping to do more berry jam as things ripen.
Okay, but I digress… Two weeks ago I traded a jar of marmalade to my friends down the street for the use of their bin. This morning I borrowed my next door neighbor’s bin and left it full, by the curb and deposited a jar of jam on their doorstep. Hope you like it. Brush your teeth after though…it’s full of sugar.
(*Okay, maybe MSD isn’t exactly like Martha Stewart, but if you had a scale with Martha Stewart as a “10” and my friend Roxy from the “House of Toast” as a 1, then I would be about a 6.5 and Mrs. Dunbar would be about an 8. Or 9.)