The Barrel

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I call this area the Blues Corner. When two blue adirondack chairs were set down in this corner of the yard, they seemed to call out, Turn your back to your troubles, and sink into the blues. At that moment, the Blues Corner was born. There is blue stand for a blue umbrella. The bluebird of happiness lives here, and there are lots of blue pots , which will eventually be arranged in an attractive manner. Of course, it is a very difficult place to feel sad for very long. The view offers so much reason for happiness.

I should have a name for this Rubbermaid barrel buried in the ground. It makes compost tea. I stuff the barrel with the gnarly weeds, vicious pricker vines, promiscuous growers, anything that can’t be trusted to compost gently back to good earth. Then I fill the barrel with rainwater, which flows via hose from where it is collected, upgradient, in a 300 gallon container. Unlike town water from the spigot, rainwater does not have the additives which inhibit growth, so it nurtures the good powerful bacteria which drive plant activities, like growth, decay and procreation.

It takes about two weeks for the tea to brew. Stand upwind when you open the barrel, because these fumes can gag a maggot. Dip a water can in, draw out some clear brown liquid, and you can hear plants singing for this nectar. Magically, the plant material reduces down to almost nothing. Remaining solids are so soft and slimy, they could slip easily under some mulch, if you needed to remove them from the barrel, but I never have. I just keep adding rainwater and more weeds, and pulling out stinky water.

Best of all I love the metaphor. When life tangles you with weeds, make an elixir for your plants. We are all magicians.

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