One of the most useful phrases and activities Dad taught me is “to baling-wire something”.
The dictionary doesn’t include the verb to baling-wire, but it should: to use old wire for repair jobs …
Only a generation ago, people didn’t have the resources to call in a professional. They had to be self-reliant in dealing with problems and breakdowns and in responding to emergencies.
Wisdom of the Last Farmer by David Mas Masumoto
101 Uses for Baling-twine: Part One
The author’s dad was of the generation that gave birth to the baby boomers. My wife and I may be boomers but we seldom have the resources “to call in a professional” to fix things.
By the 1950s, wire had been replaced by twine and “to baling-wire something” by “to baling-twine something”. Twine, when it comes to farm applications, is now pretty much synonymous with synthetic twine, although small hay bales are sometimes still held together by natural fibre twines.
The small bales of hay and pea straw we get are held together by two strands of synthetic twine. That’s the twine that has a 101 uses round here.
We bought 50 bales of hay and 30 bales of pea straw this season; that’s 160 strands, each measuring approximately 2.3 metres. We get a lot of reuse out of that twine and we need hay for the goats and cows and pea straw mulch for the vegetable garden.
But yes, it is a polypropylene plastic twine and it soon builds up. However, I like to think that I’m a pragmatist; I really like the way Gandhi says it in the following extract:
The beauty of compromise consists in a deed’s being done….It is far from perfect, but at least it is something done. In order that it may be done, it must limit itself to time, place and people, and compromise with what is there.
Rebecca Laughton quoting Gandhi in her book, Surviving and Thriving on the Land
“At least it is something done,” as Gandhi says, and often the temporary twine solution to a problem has both an acceptable look of semi-permanence and a look that screams out:
Heah you, you think you’re so smart and have impeccable green credentials. Well, you find a better solution! And don’t forget to factor in and research the less than obvious environmental degradation engendered by your solution.
P.S. When making your deliberations, please take into consideration the need to compromise.
Yeah, I know, it’s all in my head. But honestly, these days, I’m not on the defensive. (Once upon a time, yes, but that’s another story.) I live comfortably with the compromises and their consequences in pursuit of getting things done. What about you?
Have you read The Book of Lists? Stephen (who’s now been dead almost fourteen years), was my brother-in-law and friend. I’d been going on about my abhorrence of lists and that I was not only hopeless at getting things done on my list but also hopeless at writing them. They’d just get longer and longer and more and more depressing. Anyway, he was browsing in a secondhand bookstore (bless him), came across The Book of Lists and immediately thought of me. I was particularly fascinated by some of the more salacious entries.
Anyway, that’s a long way round saying that I’m going to undertake a foray into list-making for next Monday’s post. Our 101 uses for baling-twine. Pretty sure that even our extensive usage doesn’t stretch to that! Just how long is a piece of string? Might have to top it up with ways other people have used it.
That’s all from Little Owl Gully till next Monday. In the meantime, I can’t afford to be listless – there’s a list to write!
Bye for now and thanks for your company.