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The Chipper

It seems like I take an unbelievable amount of yard waste out of my yard. It's not that I am some kind of gardening fanatic. I don't have a picture perfect yard, and as a single parent I am not blessed with tons of free time to care for everything. Stuff just grows like crazy. I should explain about my yard. It is a pie shaped, quarter acre. The back yard is the wide part of the pie and is about 70 feet across. The former owners were friends with someone who was going through a divorce. Out of spite, this friend took all of the landscaping in the settlement, even though she had no yard in which to put everything. The former owners took many of these plants and planted them all over the place. Combine way too many plants, 9 months of rain per year, and my somewhat Darwinistic view of my yard, and you have a recipe for a jungle.

I have a 90 gallon yard waste container which takes no time at all to fill. That gets picked up every other week. Several times a year I have to load up the fire truck and haul a load of branches, blackberries, and bamboo off to the dump. When I first moved in, one of my very nice, retired neighbors offered to let me borrow his chipper. It was very kind of him and I did use it. Once. I have since learned through hard experience that all of his yard machines that he loans me are cast iron, older than me, don't really run correctly, require constant tinkering to keep them running at all, and are frankly terrifying. That was 6 years ago. I guess I am just now getting over the experience because I started looking at my yard recently and it occurred to me that I need a chipper. One made in this century. I looked around on line and chose one from Home Depot.

Alex and I brought our new chipper home in the fire truck and set to work. We cleared enough bamboo, blackberries, and out of control shrubbery to fill the fire truck and fed it all through the chipper. We had that thing running for three hours straight and it used less than a gallon of gas. No moments of terror. No malfunctions. Just brrrrrrrrrrrraaaaap. Done. Amazing! Say, is that a 2 inch diameter stick? No problem! Brrrrrrrrraaaap! If it will fit in the chute, the chipper will suck it in and spit it out in about 2 seconds flat. Anything too big to chip is big enough to burn in my backyard fireplace thingy. The pile of wood chips that was left over wasn't even big, and I pointed the output chute at the place where I wanted to spread them, anyway. I should have bought one of these years ago. Even Alex can use the thing easily. I showed him how to do it and to stay safe and he was racing around to cut down bamboo to feed into the thing. The irony of this project is that, because I wanted a chipper, I needed a shed to put it in. My current shed is full. In order to clear a spot to put the new shed, we had to clear a bunch of brush, which means we needed a chipper to get rid of the brush so we would have room for the shed so we could store the chipper. So basically, we are going in a big circle. I don't know if I accomplished anything today, but it was fun.

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