Rural System's

The Clumper


The Clumper is a approximately square piece of cloth (various types and weights available) (about 36 x 36 inches with a piece of 1 x 1 stapled to opposite sides. Some of he cloth is tie-dyed. It is one of the products sold within the Alpha Earth system along with soil building (Novosoils) strategies. A sample is available.

Many people rake leaves and do "pick-up" with bed-sheets or large pieces of plastic. The work is hard, discouraging, and prevents people picking up leaves often and moving them to a comp0sting site. Using the Clumper, the task becomes much more easy. An arm full of leaves can be picked up and placed in a wagon or caried to the composting site. The size and weight of each "load" can be adjusted to suit the strength and abilities of the person doing the pickup. Most people get a large "clump", picking up all of the leaves that have been raked into an easily-picked-up-pile.

The Clumper is a simple device to make autumn leaf pick-up easy and to allow efficient movement of them to a personal or neighborhood compost area. Designed by an ecologist and used by him for over 20 years, it is made of clear hardwood from the Appalachian mountains. It's tie-dyed with native colors, and then given a dip in a natural preservative.

This beautiful aid to personal lawn care is usually used in two ways. Leaves are raked into a flat row or cone-shaped pile. The Clumper is grabbedd in the center of each bar, then wrapped over the pile, enclosing it, then the two bars are pressed toward each other as far as they will go, bar to bar. The leaf bundles are carried to the compost pile. Later, for clean-up, the Clumper is laid flat on the ground and leaves, acorns, etc. are raked onto it. The bars are pulled together and the bundle then carried like a satchel or suitcase to the compost pile to be dumped.

Dried, then rolled up, The Clumper can be used for many years with reasonable care.

The booklet that comes with your purchase gives advice on leaf composting.

With your Clumper comes a free first-year membership in a group with great interest in soil and a dynamic Internet publication with interests, advice, and news about soils...one of the most important parts of the total rural system. It includes information on composting, decomposition rates in forests and the wildlands, and other ecosystems.

Buyers will also gain an E-catalog of other opportunities and services of Rural System.

A part of the sale of every Clumper goes into ecosystem studies within Rural System.

ContactRobert H. Giles, Jr. at any time with advice, comments, and suggestions.



Compost Fundamentals for the Home

Elaborate boxes and cans work just fine but an open site in the yard near by the kitchen door will be a good site for placing all organic matter that you have and will be gaining overer time. You may want boards or posts to help delineate it or for appearance but "'a pile" works well. We can create excellent compost from organic matter for your garden almost anywhere.

We mix yard trimmings (but not after a recent pesticide or weed treatment), food scraps, fruit and vegetable peels, egg shels, wood chips, coffee grounds, tea bags, leaves, small twigs, animal fur, cotton or wool rags, and cotton lint (the dryer), fruits and vegetables, hay and straw, house plants

We keep the mix moist by adding moist items, a little water, and capturing rainfall in a center pit in the conical pile. A tarp can help keep the moist pile moist.

We turn the materials with a pitchfork every week or two enjoying a good exercise with a powerful purpose.

The dark brown material at the bottom is the compost and ready to be spread among flowers or along garden rows.

Don't include animal manure, nut shells (but not black walnut hulls), , most dairy products or meats (they attract mammal pests), large amounts of food grease or oils, or diseased plants. Add only small amounts of wood ashes (if at all), well mixed. Add only samll amounts of newspaper ground or torn (ink may be a problem).

You can add earth worms but some will usually show up soon. Your hungry herd will soon please you. You can mix bottom materials back into the pile after a few weeks (innoculating it with bacteria, fungi, and insects) and expect faster decomposition of the pile that the pile without such practice.

In winter, turn the pile occasionally for the pleasant show of warm vapor in the cold morning air ... the heat being created by the oxidation processes of the mix of micro plants and organisms at work in the pile for you. (We'll discover how to harness and use this heat someday.)

There's something wrong if this pile smells bad, probably not being turned enough, being too moist, or having the wrong stuff (e.g., uneaten chicken parts added (against the no-meats-rule) without them being spread out within a very active pile.

Perhaps you will share ideas with me about some of the topic(s) above .

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Robert H. Giles, Jr.
November 21, 2005