Friday, October 13, 2006

fat guy collects leaves

It seems Matt over at Fat Guy on a Little Bike had a little trouble with google and has decided to change locations. The link above leads to his new address over at WordPress. My real reason for writing this however is to point you in the direction of his latest post about "stealing" leaves from the trash piles of others. It is a great way to increase the amount of mulch you have available for next year's garden. I use it as free mulch around my trees and shrubs. It beats paying someone to grind up trees.

It is also a great way to supersize your composting efforts. Last year the house next door was unoccupied all fall and winter. I told the real estate agent trying to sell it that she could have her landscaper pile up all of the leaves in my side yard instead of taking the extra time to bag all of them. I saved her landscaper time which saved her money and no plastic bags were used in the process. My reward was a pile of leaves 6' wide and about 6' high. I was excited. My wife was a little less enthusiastic about the small mountain of leaves resting in our side yard. Truth be told I thought maybe I had overdone it a bit. But we were both amazed at how quickly the pile shrank. The composting action of billions of little microbes worked wonders. By early spring the pile was 1/3 of its original size. The material deep inside served as wonderful compost while the less decomposed material on the outside worked well as mulch for the garden. The idea that I could ever collect too many leaves was banished from my thoughts. I too will be collecting leaves this fall. I'll rake them in my own yard, collect them from my neighbors and yes stop on the side of the road to pick this golden brown treasure out of other people's trash. This year though I'll remember to leave a tarp in my car. Some times those bags of leaves leak.


PeakEngineer said...

I like the concept of "stealing" your neighbors yard refuse. In Florida it's a little harder (no falling leaves!), but I suppose I could keep a look out for someone cutting down a tree.

fatguyonalittlebike said...

Boy howdy do those bags leak!! You should see the back of my car!!
I found the mother lode today though! At least 2 dozen bags. I'm going to have to borrow my in laws truck to haul those home.

nulinegvgv said...

wanna have a contest?

jewishfarmer said...

We call it "leaf rustling" here. It is tougher for us, since we live out in the country and there's no trash collection, so people mostly compost or burn their own leaves (crazy people to burn them!). But every time we go to anywhere suburban, we haul back bags of leaves. Plus, if you don't forget them out in the yard when it rains (which I nearly always do) you get free paper bags!


Faith said...

Hi! I'm starting a series of blog posts about alternative ways to celebrate Christmas. Especially to make them less consumer-oriented and more "green" friendly. If you have any thoughts, ideas or memories of what you've done, please shoot me an email. My addy is in my profile.
Thanks so much!