Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Some years back we bought a small electric mulcher. Of oriental persuasion, the mulcher has whirred on ... and on ...

Through a change of blades - thoughtfully provided with double-sided blades, a strong arm and some know-how allows the blade life to be extended without the hassle of sharpening the blade.

The machine comes with a pusher. Another two indispensible tools are a device to poke choked-up material from the discharge chute and a whisk to clean out the cutting chamber.

Working on the 'less is more' principle, remembering it is a small machine doing a big job, go easy on the amount of greenstuff you put through at any one time. Awkward material like the Asparagus stems and their tough ferny leaves, need to go slowly and one stem at a time. Remembering to keep the chute clear as you go. Easy material like Sugar Cane - sliced lengthwise first - just whirr up so quickly that choking is not a problem.

There is always some back up in the cutting chamber. Every now and then, opening the mulcher and sweeping out the chamber with the whisk speeds production no end.

When you're finished with the mulcher, opening it up and sweeping out the debris allows it to fully dry before being put away. Grab some spray-on oil and give the blades and the tightening bolt a spray.

With some tlc and careful dry storage, even a small machine like ours will give you good service for many years and reduce the volume of prunings to mulchable/compostable size.

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe yesterday

Years ago my then next-door neighbour and I bought a Bolens Mulching Mower between us. It did a might job returning the grass to where it belonged: at the roots of the grass plants. After 2 or 3 years - and this without fertilising or watering - the grass was so thick it needed a mowing with a catcher.

That's as close as I've come to anything which mulches apart from the machine I describe.

Observation suggests that a stand-alone machine will work better for longer than a 'do this, do that' machine.

And btw a very small branch! Our machine takes a stick of sugar cane sliced lengthwise. It's dense fibrous stuff but it whirrs through in no time at all. Dry sticks will blunt the blade; depends on the thumb ;- ) but think thumb-sized pieces by diameter (not length).

Comment by DARREN JAMES yesterday

I was looking at lawnmowers the other day in bunnings and hard to believe but there was one with a built in mulcher with the chute  coming out the top,dont know how big a branch you could put in but I thought that was a pretty neat idea eh!

Comment by Mary-Ann Baker on Monday

very timely post Elaine seriously thinking of getting Col one for xmas along with a rain gauge ! Cant afford the tractor we need ! 

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