Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One Small Change: Weed and Time Management

My One Small Change for June was to manage our weeds with boiling water. 

Boiling Water:

It works pretty well for small areas such as sidewalk cracks.  I have had to re-apply in some cases since this method really requires a generous amount of boiling water to ensure the plants are well-cooked.


So I have been boiling a couple pots while I wash the dishes or make dinner.  Which means this process is slow going, but it does work.  Check out this after photo.


Salt:

Since the boiling water works better in smaller areas, I have started using salt in the parking and driveway areas.  I don't have plans to plant these areas in the future and I don't want to weed them next year.  So I'm not worried about having salty soil in the parking and driveway areas.


This method requires a generous amount of salt.  So I shopped around and was able to find 50 pound bags for about $6 each at a local feed store.

After I got tired of sprinkling salt by the cupful, I used our seed spreader.  While the seed spreader layed the salt down evenly, it wasn't enough to greatly affect the plant growth.  You can see that some areas have dead weeds though.  Perhaps if I went over it a few times??


Dig, Pull and Chop:

In many cases, the weeds are too close to plants we want to keep, so we have to do some good old-fashioned pulling.

Someone told me this is called milk weed, but I always thought milk weed was something else. 


Regardless, it's nasty and we have a lot of them. They have a bazillion seeds and are impossible to pull out of the ground. There was one in one of the corrals and the alpacas would not eat it.

My neighbor told me that goats won't eat them either. So I've started to cut the seed heads off and put them in trash bags. Then digging the plant out with a shovel and composting it.


For July - Weeds:

I plan to continue with our weed elimination program.  It's working, but we have a long way to go with the weeds on our property.

For July - Time Management:

While time management won't directly reduce my impact on our environment.  Starting Alpacamundo, moving to our farm in Colorado and working as an IT Consultant all have their place in enabling our goal for a simpler, more peaceful and eco-friendly life.

The problem is all of these things require a lot of my time and energy and the time between them is blurred.  Working from home and commuting out of state are still relatively new ideas for me.  Which means when I work from home, I want to spend time on farm stuff during the day then I stay up late to work on my clients stuff at night.  When I'm traveling, it's the opposite.

Now bats in the ceiling and escaping alpacas need to be addressed when they occur.  But as a general rule I need to be more structured with my time.

So for July, I will block out a weekly schedule for all of my activities.  I will also carry my idea notebook so I can capture ideas and tasks as they come to mind then work on them during the appropriate blocked time.  I feel if I am able to focus my attention better, I should be able to get it all done more effectively.  Then the more effective I am at getting it done, the more quickly we will reach our goals.

One Small Change

4 comments:

cara said...

I struggle with time management too. Like right now, I'm working from home today, yet I am looking at farm blogs and spinning yarn! Now I will be up late getting the work I should be addressing done. It's so hard not to be distracted. It all gets done, but not always in the most efficient way.

Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

Time management is as big of a problem as the weeds, that is for sure!

That big weed is not milkweed, but I don't know what it is. We have them too thanks to the open space behind us.

Kathryn Ray said...

It's always good to commiserate. ;-)

Hip Mountain Mama said...

I like your July change. My change is sort of similar in that it won't make a huge environmental impact, but it will free up my time to hopefully do more eco friendly things. so glad you are still on board with One Small change
suzy