My birthday, which is not for another couple of weeks, is always a time for getting something I need, rather than for fun stuff. The first of my birthdays spent with Steve, and which occurred shortly before we got married, I wanted a set of Felco secateurs, which I got. They were the astronomical sum of forty dollars, and Steve's friends thought he was getting off mighty easy for only forty dollars. Last year was my fiftieth, and I tried to want a piece of jewelry to commemorate it. I even looked at some in the various and sundry catalogs that wind up here, and couldn't get excited about them. You want to know what I wound up with to commemorate my fiftieth birthday?
A manure fork. I had a compost pile to move, and I needed the fork, so that's what I got.
This year is not going to be much different, only this year's present is way cooler than a manure fork. This year I wanted and got an electric chipper/shredder. It came last week, and Steve put it together for me Saturday and I shredded the dickens out of the bush clippings I had. The idea is to reduce the size of that stuff so that it will compost more quickly. Here's a before picture of how much I had to do:
And an after picture of the pile reduced by shredding:
Reviews of the roughly three electric chipper/shredders were all roughly the same, except that I didn't consider the Patriot CSV-2515 because it costs almost nine hundred dollars, but the others that were roughly the same size and price had roughly the same reviews, so I left the decision as to which one up to Steve. True to form, he picked the cheapest, the 14 amp Eco-Shredder from Amazon. It worked really well. They tell you not to force a lot through it at once, but I think that's common sense. We all want to get chores done quickly, but since you can't cram a lot down a garbage disposal, it makes sense that you can't cram a lot down the shredder. You also can't feed it wet stuff, which also makes sense. Basically, you don't want to do anything or put anything in it that will jam it or gum up the works. I also really like the fact that it's electric, like all the rest of our gardening power tools.
I expect that this shredder and I will be doing gardening chores together for a long time.