Why do I have a medical grade ventilated mask and rubber gloves on you may ask? No, I was not in Carterton where students were rushed to the hospital and others decontaminated due to a mysterious substance (most likely fumes from a delivery of mushroom compost).
I was heading out to the garden to clean up a choko pod/fruit incident…
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was getting rid of the choko vine that was strangling the trees and shrubs at the back of our property. In the blog post Get Rid Of Invasive Weeds was an excerpt from Recipes For A Cleaner Life that suggested gathering up wild choko (moth vine) pods and either burying them entirely or soaking them in a drum of water so that they would decompose. We have choko fruit, not pods, but they are just as much of a nightmare, strangling the Manuka and other natives, it’s completely out of control.
I decided to take the second option and picked up all of the fruit (should work for fruit too right?) that had fallen off the now dead vine. If left alone, the fruit will sprout, and the vine will grow again, which is the last thing I need.
I got a barrel half full of water and put all of the fruit in it to decompose. A couple of weeks later, I noticed an odd smell near where I park my car. At first, I thought it must be coming from the horse’s next door, but the smell kept getting worse until I knew it couldn’t possibly be from their manure.
After a fair amount of searching for the offending smell, I went over near the barrel of fermenting fruit and took a sniff. The stench was absolutely horrendous! It was the worst smell I’ve ever smelt, and it made me sick to my stomach. Excellent, I thought, I now have a barrel of toxic waste.
The only way that I could face getting rid of the problem was to get my heavy duty mask (that we use when making our Peppermint Toilet Cleaner which is very strong), some gloves, and get to work. I tipped the barrel over and picked up every single squishy fruit, then had to bury them to stop the stench.
If you are thinking about decomposing wild choko pods or regular choko fruit in a barrel of water, DON’T. Bury them and save yourself several hours of work!