The anticipations of a growing season

Composting and land clearance

Who doesn’t love spring, my favourite time of the year?

What is mostly a torrent of wet windy days in a Lancashire winter, the highlight is the evident lengthening of light in the evenings. My farming background fortunately, or unfortunately as some may think, instils a weather obsession in me that I cannot shake. Constant searches for the hotter days and the drier days, it’s a good job I’m not easily disappointed as it doesn’t always go my way.

Soon enough I can see a slight hue of greener hedgerows and the lush polished strands of grass glimmering in the odd ray of sun. I know the seasons are changing and with it is the anticipation of the ‘growing season’.

I work for the business at JCR Ltd and its composting facility and land clearance business. The green waste bay sits with a gentle rumbling of static tonnage over the later autumn and winter months, which is typically the ‘nature of the beast’. I can only ever describe the growing season as ‘the beast’, it is ferocious, strong and continuous and reaches climaxes that you would only dream of. You never know when it’s going to happen, every year is different, every year has its own challenges, so we just try to be ready for when it hits us.

Boom… it hits!

Like turning a tap on full power is very similar to the torrent of wagons, tippers, vans, cars, trailers, hiabs, skips; the list goes on, as they all mill around busily emptying their pickings from their days work. The greenery in all its splendour, waiting patiently in the bay for its turn to be ‘put through the mill’. To use a phrase like that is not dissimilar to how the phrase began, where a tough time was experienced. The mill in our case being the shredding machine that pulverises the greenery to a brown fibrous material. It certainly doesn’t look like it did when it went in. I imagine all those micro-organisms living within the brown piles that work a type of magic like no other, causing steamy waves coming from the piles, on cold spring mornings, like the music festivals that push the button on the smoke machines for far too long.

I love this time of year. I am also truly grateful for our customers who provide an endless stream of supply. It’s not all financial, as there’s a genuine satisfaction that what we do is helping the environment.

There is one element I do not enjoy and it’s my biggest passion of all. I hate plastic…! I didn’t used to have this issue, as I used to happily use it and store it and use it again, for all manner of different tasks, but now I see it in a totally different light. If it weren’t for plastic our lives would be so much easier and our staff would be a lot happier. My plea is not to put it into your compostable waste bin, it really doesn’t turn into compost. I had better stop here with this topic or I may say something I regret.

If you have ever laid concrete, the green waste season is ridiculously similar, once you’re in the thick of it, if you don’t keep up, it’ll never let you catch up. Our staff are brilliant, they work so hard at this time of year, in the full knowledge that each year at this time, they will be doing the same again and be as busy as they have ever been. Reliant on the heavy plant and modern machinery, that we source and endeavour to provide them with, hoping each day the inevitable breakdown doesn’t happen – not that sods law would make it happen at the busiest time of year.

I am in awe of nature. That a slightly longer child’s school summer holiday can turn plant clippings into rich brown nutritious compost. Lovely. I can only imagine that the recipient grow bag, plant pot or farmland is just as appreciative as I am.

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