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Natural Perspectives: Finishing touches on garden include compost bins

March 30, 2011|By Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray
(Courtesy Lou Murray )

The Huntington Beach Community Garden at the end of Atlanta Avenue opened last Saturday with a celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony. After two years of planning and meetings, the garden is now a reality.

The week before the grand opening, the garden site was a flurry of activity. A crew from the Orange County Conservation Corps painted the old metal container that serves as our tool shed and finished building the wooden borders that line each plot.

One of the last tasks was construction of two large compost bins. The materials for the bins were purchased with a small grant from Rainbow Disposal.

Corps crew supervisor Simeon Jasso seemed to be everywhere last week, showing one group and then another how to nail boards together and saw lumber. The women on the corps' construction crew built the first three-bin compost system. The men built the second one. It did my heart good to see the young women using a cordless electric drill and hammering the staples in place to attach the hardware cloth to the frame.

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Two male corps members helped Jasso cut and staple hardware cloth for the last compost system while the other two measured and sawed the boards that formed the front of each bin. The boards slide into place at the front of the bins and are easily removed when it is time to turn the compost from one bin to the next.

The cedar boards that formed the front of the middle bin were to have been cut an inch longer than the boards for the other two bins. With everyone hurrying to finish, the crew cutting the boards measured wrong and cut two center boards to the shorter length by mistake. These were corps members who had just joined the corps, and it was their first experience on the construction crew. They felt really bad about the mistake, but in the infinite scheme of things, it was a pretty minor thing.

Because we had purchased only enough materials to get the job done, we had no spare boards. But with the bulk of the garden construction now finished, our garden volunteers will be able to finish that little task.

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