Your weekly update on all things compost related!

Special Edition: The Jesse Feature

Welcome to THE Com POST, a weekly newsletter dedicated exclusively to documenting our adventures in composting and community gardening in New Orleans! Why do I do this, you ask? Well, we’re doing a lot, and honestly; I felt like if I didn’t jot it down somewhere there was a chance I might forget all the hard work that goes into land stewardship and urban gardening. So there’s no real formula to this blog, other than trying to consistently post on Sundays to keep a record of what we have accomplished or learned in the last week. This week I figured I switch things up and highlight the man behind the scenes that works harder than anyone I know to help in maintaining the Galvez Garden, my husband, Jesse. I know I’m biased, but this week especially he deserves a shout out for everything he does and helps create to keep our composting efforts thriving for the future.

This week is the first week since I fractured my rib that I have been able to do some heavy lifting. On Friday morning the family went to garden with hopes of simply moving an arbor. The plan was to learn from last year and move the arbor to the back of the property so the shadow from it wouldn’t cast on the sunniest part of the property. Also, by moving it further away from the street it could act as a barrier to hide our composting operation from view and make an all around better use of the space. What we initially thought would be an easier job turned into a bigger task when we dismantled the arbor from the cedar growing boxes that were anchoring it in place. The cedar was not pressure treated and we had to face facts when we noticed the rot and termite damage to the boxes.

Jesse suggested we build back better and quickly got to work. While I carefully replanted the few plants that survived the freeze and were in the defunct boxes at the garden, Jesse and Dylan went back to our place and prepared reclaimed pressure treated cedar to make into new planters. In very little time they returned with everything we needed to replace and rebuild for the arbor.

Removing the arbor and dismantling it from rotted cedar planter boxes

The arbor is especially meaningful to me, because Jesse and I built it -in a day- to replace the metal one that was stolen from the garden. Jesse probably had better things to do that day than to drop everything and build an arbor, but he did anyway, because he knew how much my feeling were hurt by the theft. He’s just that kind of guy. So I was very happy to see the project come together, better than before, in its new location at the garden. But he didn’t stop there…

New planter boxes on the arbor in its new location
You can see the dirt where the arbor was located before we moved it to the back

Jesse loaded up the truck with various items that I had laying around and cleared all the unused wood I had been storing in the back of the property. He moved the heavy stand that we secure our plastic compost bins for weekly collections to a more accessible location, closer to our compost pile. On Saturday he dismantled the compost bin and we loaded the cured compost into a trash can and an area covered with tarps. We have enough compost for spring planting! And it’s beautiful! Jesse spent the afternoon sifting through all the materials we brought home and made the garden a new pressure treated compost bin! It’s so much prettier than the last one, and this one is built to last!

Our cured compost
Unloading the pretty compost from the ugly bin

On Sunday we brought the new bin to the garden. Just look at what an amazing job he did!

Newly installed pressure treated compost bin; made of reclaimed materials

We put out the bins and while Jesse installed the bin, I moved some mulch around the garden as he worked in the compost area. We came back home and wouldn’t you know it, Jesse made us a second bin of reclaimed pressure treated wood! Check it out!

Second bin, made by Jesse

Every week Jesse helps with washing out the bins after collecting strangers food scraps. Every week Jesse helps me empty out the heavy bins into our compost piles. And every time the compost pile get turned, you’d better believe it’s Jesse behind the pitchfork, aerating the -not always pleasant- piles. He really does so much for the garden! Now you see why I felt compelled to pay tribute to him in this post. He’s a top notch guy, and a hell of a partner.

Thanks, Jesse!

Until next week, happy composting!

Published by Lissie

Artist, dreamer, doer. Mother and wife. Environmentalist and inspired idealist. Making in the Big Easy.

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