Sunday, November 25, 2007


Which is weirder: To steal bagged leaves from somebody's front yard, or to knock on somebody's door and ask them if you can take the bagged leaves from their front yard?

I'm on a never-ending quest to add all kinds of organic matter and nutrients to my garden soil, to the extent that I may need professional help. So far that has included organic dairy compost, Com-til from the local wastewater treatment plant, hay, straw, ashes, charcoal, cardboard, newspaper, shredded paper, goat/donkey/chicken manure and bedding, garden crop residue, wood chips, dried molasses, and now, leaves.

You see, we don't have any mature trees on our property. We have a few beech trees and a thicket of willows growing around the edge of the pond, but as this was cropland just a few years ago, most of the trees are the ones I've planted, and few are taller than me.

So while I was in town running some errands, I snagged some bags of leaves. (I asked, in case you're wondering. I didn't want some nice old lady calling in my license plates to Circleville's Finest.)

A secondary benefit to this particular facet of my little organic matter problem (I can quit whenever I want) was that my kids, for once in their lives, got to play in a big pile of leaves.

The chickens didn't really need to be introduced to the scratching potential of the leaf pile, but e5 was more than happy to show them around anyway.

Six garbage bags of leaves in a big pile, and within an hour our feathered friends had spread them in a nice even layer across the whole garden expansion area.

Hello, my name is e4, and I'm an organic matter addict.


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At 11/26/2007 6:35 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

I have just found your blog and am thoroughly enjoying it! I have 192 acres, 160 of which are treed. I have plenty of leaves, not bagged, as I let my trees free range.

How about I send you some leaves and you mail me some chicken and other animal poop? My garden needs help!

At 11/26/2007 7:38 AM, Blogger P. said...

When I saw a white van speed away from the front of my house Sunday night and noticed that 30 of the 35 bags of leaves I'd raked Saturday before were missing I was initially puzzled -- then I thought "compost ?" -- and you've confirmed my theory !

Of course whoever took them is more than welcome to them...but I can't help being the weest tad resentful that my 5 hours of backbreaking labor benefited someone who (unlike you) did not even show the courtesy of a "may I ?" or a "thank you" --

I wonder if this is a common practice, this leaf bag hijacking, and, if so, is there an accepted etiquette attached to it ? I certainly don't mind when folks take stuff from the recycling bin without asking...

I'll have to work on generosity I guess !

At 11/26/2007 11:39 AM, Blogger Chile said...

Personally, I would ask. And, if I had the leaves to give away, I'd prefer to be asked. Those little common courtesies are missing in today's world!

Now, if you get loads and loads of leaves from one person, you might even want to consider reciprocating with a nice little something from the garden that those leaves allowed you to nurture. It could lead to other kinds of trading and bartering, as well as building a sense of community.

At 11/26/2007 2:46 PM, Blogger barefoot gardener said...

Fabulous! I am so glad the kids got to experience the joy of playing in the leaves. My mom (over 50 yrs old now) STILL plays in the leaves every year. It's quite the tradition over here.

Oh, I like Lisa's idea, though I don't think the PO or UPS people would like it very much.

At 11/26/2007 8:56 PM, Blogger Ornery's Wife said...

I have several hundred bags of leaves if you want them...Oklahoma organic matter might have some extra nutrients you are missing. One catch, you'll have to rake and bag them yourself! :-)

Hope you get well soon!

At 11/27/2007 12:23 AM, Blogger e4 said...

If only we could send autumn leaves and manure as email attachments...

At 11/27/2007 11:56 AM, Blogger maggie said...

Plenty of leaves here! I was thinking that I needed to buy a bagging lawn mower so I could shred them... Oh, the insanity!

At 12/18/2007 10:04 AM, Blogger valereee said...

Recently a neighbor who keeps his yard immaculate asked me if I had an extra dumpster he could use to set out the leaves he'd raked. I said I didn't, but if he wanted to dump the leaves on my back beds, he was welcome to. He looked at me like I was crazy. "Really? You wouldn't mind?" I told him I'd love it. He brought over six hugs trash bags full of leaves, and now I have a lovely 2-foot pile on each of my raised beds. My neighbhors think I'm weird.


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