When you begin a homestead or organic garden, you develop a new perspective. What was once refuse has become gold. I now drive around neighborhoods looking for bags of leaves left out by the curb, if I find some we pull over and it is kind of like a Chinese fire drill- we all hop out toss the bags in the back of the truck and hop back in. Well, yesterday on the way out to visit my grandmother I passed by a house with HUGE bags of leaves and lots of them, the only problem was that they were still in the yard of the house. Stuff on the curb for the garbage man is free game, but I won’t go into a person’s yard without permission- What to do? It just so happens we knew the couple that own the house from Tony’s days on the ambulance and I was able to find them on Facebook.
She was very nice and said I most certainly could get the leaves. This truck load is only half!!! Really, I am delighted.
Before visiting with my grandmother, I stopped by my parents house and gathered a load of organic mulch- pine needles. Using a pitch fork that I ran just under the needles but not into the soil, I scooped up a wonderful pick up load full. I also found this cute little guy working the soil under the needles.
Of course, this meant that this morning before I dropped Sierra off a the library to volunteer I had to empty the bed of the truck. Once #3 was delivered to the library I swung over and grabbed the bags. Those double size bags are HEAVY, so #4 the strapping young man who likes to sleep late will be going on the second trip. Who needs a gym when you have all this exercise? We will also hit the furniture stores on this trip and gather cardboard.
Another bright spot in my evening was finding this perfect little toad stool under the needles & getting several bags of newspapers from my Auntie. Auntie is my grandmother’s sister and they live around the corner from each other. Both enjoy our visits and I always wonder why I don’t do more visiting.
So, what in the world am I going to do with all this stuff, you may ask? I am going to sheet compost as far as I can. Last year I battled the Bermuda and in several areas the Bermuda won. This time around, I am going to spread the cardboard all around my fruit trees and berry vines. Once the cardboard is down, I will pile rabbit manure (from under our hutches), wood shavings, pine needles and leaves. The goal of the layer of mulch is to be 6 inches thick. This will suppress weeds and grass along with mulching my trees and feeding them as the layers breakdown in to compost. This may not eradicate the Bermuda, but it will give my the upper hand and I can spray what does come along with 20% vinegar which will kill it in a day.
The point I would like to make is that organic gardening does not have to be expensive- you just have to look at what you have in a different way.