In California, everyone is always big into recycling… even Ramona has a really good recycling program, and a place where you can turn in your cans for $$ (took advantage of that often!)… but in Hereford, the town in which we now live, they disbanded their recycling program and we’ve turned to other options to take care of our plastics, cardboard and some other items that we’d normally recycle.  Like Christmas Trees!  

This year we bought what is euphemistically called a “live” Christmas Tree. I call them dead trees, because there’s no way they’re going to continue living after Christmas. Anyway, we wanted a potted tree, but no one was carrying them and we didn’t have time to traipse through the county looking for one. We both prefer the smell of the pine tree, so agreed that we won’t have a fake tree! That leaves you with a thousand needles on your floor and a tree to dispose ofrecycling-1 after Christmas. The needles are easy; vacuum works very well, but what to do with the tree? We decided to give the Chickens an enclosure enrichment item! Isn’t that the zoological term these days? We thought we’d let them climb on, peck at, and otherwise investigate the tree, until it was just a skeleton of naked branches. However- surprise, surprise- they couldn’t have cared less about this big ol’ tree that we had to strap down in their run.  The only time they paid it any attention was when I got in to take it out!  Then they were all about the tree, and “Why are you taking it? We love the tree!  Look, we’re eating it.”  See the evidence of this at left.   “TOO BAD!”I said. “The goats have said they’d like something new to munch, so it’s going over there.”


What was left of the tree after a day with the goat boys.

We dragged the tree across a couple of fields and over two fences. The goat boys were dancing in their pen as they watched the tree coming close and closer to them.  I barely had it up and over the last fence when they started munching on in.  After they had a few mouthfuls, I noticed a pleasant pine scent on their breath.  That’s always a good thing for goats! I placed it in their lean-to and hung the dried Christmas wreath on the wall for them to snack on as well.  They were much more interested in these recycled items than the chickens, and the tree didn’t have to go to the landfill (although I understand that the land fill was grinding them up for mulch, so that’s nice to find out). But this was a great way to recycle our beautiful dead tree and something we’ll remember for next year!

What other odd recycling habits do we have?  We also use our plastic tubs as individual green houses for herbs and other plants we hope to overwinter, or I’ll be using some plastics – like catering type containers – as seedling greenhouses starting next month. We save mattress pads to use as covers for trees that are cold tender (lemon, lime, and other citrus).  We are always on the lookout for cotton sheets to hold down limb and weed debris that we’re waiting to cover with dirt for the swales.  We use cardboard and some paper material to layer in the fill for the Hügelkultur ditches.  Soon we will be using wood-chips as composting matter for the gardens. We’re trying to very diligently find a use for everything and not have waste.  What odd recycling habits do you have? Please share, we’re always on the lookout for new ideas.
As always,
Thanks for reading!

Today’s weather: Mostly clear.  33° this morning when I left for work, warmed up to 55°. Currently it’s 44 with a low predicted of 34°.  Sue’s planning to spend some more time on the back-hoe tomorrow because we have a prediction of rain over the weekend, beginning Thursday/Friday.

Egg report: None!  Not one egg today.  Boooo.