Too Much Rock, Too Little Roll


By Ivan Hawkes
July 2, 2018


The area immediately outside of my place isn’t that great. Actually, it’s pretty shit. No-one ever sat down and thought about how it should work. I can tell you for a fact no-one ever thought about how water should flow around the doors. It doesn’t. It just pours right into my flat every time it rains hard. There’s only one way to fix a problem like that and it involves either hiring some expensive equipment or back breaking labour. Thanks to poverty; I opted for option two.

The first step is to sieve all the soil in the garden beds outside my flat. That’s not an easy task, since 30 years ago someone thought it was a great idea to drop a literal tonne of stone on top of the garden beds. That means I need to dig up and sieve a couple of tonne of soil in order to start again with a clean slate. It’s not just this one bed either, there’s a few of them.

I built a sieve using some scrap material I found around the house. It’s made from hardwood lumber milled from trees on our land (35 years ago and still as hard as hell), and some mesh left over from some other thing. Total cost, maybe the AUD $4 I spent on screws and nails, plus the shitty quality wood drill bits I broke trying to get the job done. That hardwood is crazy tough still.

I dig and dig, and it still feels like all I am doing is pulling hard stone from the ground. Just a couple more days and I can start to fill in all these holes with good soil, and get some plants in place. Just gotta dig a little more.

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