About Me

My photo
Just a meandering soul sharing my backyard. Visit my Flickr page too! www.flickr.com/photos/meanderingwa/

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Worlds Cup Comes to Yelm

I had the unique opportunity to join the Nisqually Land Trust on Monday for some habitat restoration work.  Having a holiday week from work allowed me to do all sorts of things and getting in some volunteer time was on the list.  This opportunity came up at the last minute.

With a generous donation from Green Mountain Coffee  http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/Our-Story   the Land Trust has received a huge supply of burlap coffee bags.  These bags tell a global story.

Burlap is made from jute.  The jute plant is ecologically easy to grow requiring little in the way of fertilizer or pest control.  It is second to cotton in the production of fibers for weaving.  The center of jute production is West Bengal and Bangladesh.  Many of our bags appear to have come from the region around Calcutta from the Howrah Jute Mills   http://www.mjindia.com/jute/howrahmill/html/index.html

The bags circle the globe and are used to package a wide variety of food products for shipping, including coffee.

Of course coffee producing nations are represented on the grounds of our field.  A warm welcome to players from India as well as


El Salvador







and Germany and Columbia

All are assembled and will go to work doing weed control in this meadow.  The area has been planted with native trees and shrubs.  Our coffee bags are lapped in pairs and snugged in around each planting tube as you can see in some of the pictures.  The seams and corners are fixed with long , non-anodized metal landscape fabric pins.  The jute will biodegrade over a short time, as will the metal pins.  During this time they will suppress weedy growth.  Thistle loves to invade these wet areas and this day the dead and rotting thistle of the season did a great job of getting through two layers of fabric and harshing the skin on my knees.

Also adding to the fun is the presence of  green coffee beans.  They tumble out of many bags.

There is no chance of a coffee plant sprouting, but I have to wonder if the meadows small critter population is going to get a little caffeine buzz if they try these.  Further away from the river near the woods, moles are doing a bang-up job of digging around.  If they get a caffeine buzz I hope we don't see them out both night and day.

This generous donation will go a long way in supporting the Land Trusts work.  They budget for weed control is depleted and these bags look like they will cover this large property.

These jute bags have come full circle ecologically.  They certainly tell part of a story of a global commodity.  I wonder if workers in these many areas know how far their work reaches.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Old Friends

We have been together at least 25 years, probably longer.  When I got them, they were a pretty big investment, for at the time money was pretty tight.

Since then they have been on all my vacations, for they are the best airplane shoes.  Well stretched out, they slip on and off easily.

They have been on almost all of my Land Trust work parties, for they fit inside my NEOS ( New England Over Shoes) boots perfectly.  They have been in the jungles of Peru, in varied B&B across England and took a wonderful bus ride down a mountainside in Madeira.  They went to countless Dressage horse shows. 

They are always in the car to greet me at the end of a hike.  They have driven 100,000 plus miles with me.

My Bass slip-ons.  Leather uppers, rubber soles.  They are my favorite driving shoes, my flying footwear and even go to work with me.

But no more.  They have finally broken down in the leather/rubber connection.  A little hole on the outside of the left shoe.  Years of this foot resting on its side while I drive or sit has taken its toll.  They are no longer fit for the rainy streets of Puget Sound Country.

They will retire to the car, ready to slip on and off when the need arises.  They will continue to serve on work projects with the Land Trust and at the beach where they can snuggle in my NEOS.

We had a nice weekend at the beach