Getting the most from your garden shredder

When I woke up on Saturday morning the world looked like this.  I think it’s a fair trade in for being off-road and off-grid. 

By about 9.30 it looked like this. The sky was a blue as blue can be.  A glorious Autumn day and time to stop mucking around with my camera and actually finish one of our projects, such as the wood chip paths.

There are some set backs to living off-grid however, not least we have to think very carefully about how we use electricity.  Where possible we always buy hand powered machinery to limit our use but as yet I’ve not come across anything that will substitute a powered garden shredder.  In the end we decided it was worth it because it enables us to make use of the resources on our doorstep.   Our garden shredder is rated just below the average kettle.  Now it is quite possible that using an electric kettle in our house will trigger the inverter to start the generator, especially if the water pump kicks in simultaneously.  (And if you have just filled a kettle that’s a likelihood!)  You only use a kettle for a matter of minutes of course but the garden shredder can be in use for several hours at a time.  The first time we used it we watched the ammeter carefully to see what sort of draw it was having on the batteries.  In the same manner of things like Hoovers, there was an initial surge as the needle swung across but then once it was going the amount of power used remained relatively low.  So the trick to using a garden shredder efficiently is not to keep turning it on and off!  Which means not letting it get jammed because you have to switch off before you can use the reverse function.  Needless to say I now make sure that all my branches are prepared and to hand, I use loppers to cut off any nobbly bits that might cause a blockage and save tougher and thicker branches for last.  This minimises switching on and off and this weekend I managed a couple of hours work from the shredder without resorting the generator.

You’ll be glad to know I didn’t waste that beautiful day and the woodchip paths are slowly growing.  Here it is, the sun still hazily shining upon my garden. 

   

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