Friday, September 10, 2010

Harrow your Roadway

If you have a small gravel driveway on your bucolic property it will become compacted over time, and become pack-ugly! The fine material comes to the top and the stones descend to the nether! The fluffiness is lost, as well as that wonderful crepitus we hear as the wheels move over the loosened gravel, greeting our return. The characteristics of the gravel driveway lends itself to better traction, and less runoff, and less slipperiness than a smooth driveway surface of any material. The structure of the pack-ugly roadway however, is lost in a picture of homogenized banality, and adopts the physical characteristics of the smooth surfaced applications. My neighbor Dennis has a garden tractor and recently, a coilspring-loaded harrow he purchased from the catalogue. He harrowed my driveway and parking area with considerable assiduity to a Zen-like creation! The theory is the 3/4 inch stones will, with repeated harrowing, rise to the surface with the loosening of the packed powder and small stones. The first rains that arrive will drive the powder below the larger particulate matter and give rise to a renewed, bold, formed structure of gravel. Physics 101! Dennis is a master of tractor control and wove his way like an artist as I watched with admiration. His price to do this work was some earthworms for trout fishing from my rhubarb patch.I was anxious to retain the center grass down the driveway that adds to the gum boot essence of our hidden treasure, which he skillfully preserved. I look forward to seeing the end result, following the monsoons to come on the wet coast. A petroleum free, Zen, roadway!

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