Monday, July 14, 2008

Moto Mulching 101

Professor Kano (Master Moto Gardener) takes us through some of the finer points of organic gardening:

Just when I was having a hard time coming up with something new to write about, "conchscooter" came up with a doozy of an idea. He suggested I write about "motorcycle mulching".

Conchscooter planted the seed, now it was time to get to work and come up with how this could be done.

I called a meeting of the sharpest minds Kano's Coffee House had to offer. The crack research team would consist of "Snake", "Curly" and myself.

Long into the night and after several pots of "Kano's House Blend" we worked out a theory...

And we had yet another good reason to own a motorcycle or scooter. We were going to prove them useful far beyond what their designers ever imagined, -as a gardening tool for instance.

The Problem

I have a small garden out back with a mulch bin sitting in the corner that isn't doing much. At the slow rate my chow leftovers and yard waste are decomposing I'm more likely to become mulch myself before that stuff ever does!

For things to decompose efficiently in the bin, the stuff would ideally be in the smallest form possible to begin with.

It's been a battle to get my kids interested enough in the joys of organic gardening for them to chop up watermelon remnants and banana peels into small pieces. So that leaves the job up to me.

And that's where a motorcycle or scooter could come in real handy.

The Solution

We came up with two ways to deal with the situation. One is a rather modest approach and the other a little more "upscale" and a whole lot more fun I might add.

Now I haven't actually tested the hypothesis out yet. I've been kind of busy lately and would prefer some of my students give it a go before I light-off my Sportster out in the backyard.

The first and more conservative technique to "moto mulching" would be to get some of those creosote soaked railroad ties and cut them to size. The idea being to make a three walled enclosure to throw kitchen scraps and yard waste into.

The added benefit of all that toxic creosote leaching into the ground is that it is said to act as as slug repellent. But if you want to go "full bore" organic, skip the creosote and use something else.

I'd make the back wall kind of high if I was you because you're probably not going to want a whole lot of stuff flying into the neighbor's yard. Hmm...

Once you've got a reasonable build-up of watermelon rinds, corn cobs and banana peels. it's time to help speed up the decomposition process a bit. That's when the fun begins, because you're going to use your motorcycle or scooter.

So just back your bike into the three walled stall, slip into first gear, squeeze the brake tightly, grab a hand-full of throttle and let er' rip!

It should take no time at all to break down all that stuff burning and shredding under the back tire. Now that's my idea of a good ole' time!

It may be helpful to get one of your kids, the wife or friendly neighbors to stand-by with a shovel to toss material that gets thrown to the side back toward your rear tire. We'll call that job "feeding the hog".

The second and considerably more sporting approach to motorcycle mulching would be to make a larger fully enclosed area with some kind of gate to let your bike in and out of. This way you could actually make a regular "moto rodeo" out of the work. Fun for everybody!

You could become the hero of all the neighborhood kids and even charge a small admission fee just to watch.

OK, so now the work is done, the smoke has cleared and you've got yourself a pile of nicely ground up scraps ready to become mulch.

The final step in the Moto Mulching process is just shovel the pulverized remnants of last weekends BBQ into a mulch bin or compost pile and let time do the rest.

Apply finished compost to garden when ready.

Repeat as necessary. Good luck and happy Moto Mulching!

!Safety Reminder: Always wear a helmet and goggles!

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