Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Processing Palm Leaves

 Every year a lot of palm leaves get dumped by the sides of roads, in parks on Landcare sites and in the bush. I have two palms in my yard, one bangalow and an alexander masquerading as a bangalow. I get at least twelve leaves a year to process.

Cut Palm Frond with Clippers
I usually wait until the leaves have been rained on for a while. They are a lot easier to handle when they are wet. First I cut off the frond part in 12 inch long bits. I use them around the yard, eg on paths, for mulch.

Also in the picture are my special "lady-sized" clippers. No way can I even get my hands around the normal sized ones. Smaller tools go a long way towards allowing women to be independent at this kind of job.

Next is the sheath part. Some people make beaut baskets and containers with these, and they are also useful as water troughs for wild life.

Bangalow Palm Sheath Folded Up
But because they take so long to rot down, you soon get too many. I fold them up, as you can see (my shadow in the lower left taking the pic) I fold them up, while they are damp and put a brick on them to keep them in that shape while they wait for the next rubbish collection.

Because I put them into the rubbish bin, one at the time. Them, thorny rose clippings and maybe the odd blown-over tree are the only green waste I send off the premises. And only because I have no other way of disposal.

I fantasise that one day we'll have a green waste collection in our local towns to take care of palm fronds.

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