Why I’m not throwing away the leaves in my yard

I love the fall. I love it because of the smells that you speak of; and also because things are dying, things that you don’t have to take care of anymore, and the grass stops growing.
~Mark Van Doren

Here’s an idea. When searching for ways to compost when 90% of your compost is leaves, don’t search “leaf compositing.” Photoshop is a great tool, but it won’t help me with the leaf problem.

One of the downsides to having a yard full of trees is the fall leaf drop. I don’t have a single live oak, so all the bastards are dropping now. There are still a few water oaks hanging on fiercely, but the post oaks have all dropped. “Fuck this noise, we’re done for the year.” So am I, honestly.

I picked up some leaf bags, and I bagged up the leaves on the deck and the leaves (and assorted trash left by previous occupants) under the deck. I threw those out. But the rest of the yard is covered in leaves that the biologist in me will not allow to be sent to a landfill. I considered just raking them into the creek the day before a heavy rain, but then I came up with a better solution.

I picked up an inexpensive black garbage can at Lowe’s. I’ll borrow a drill bit at work to put holes in it, and as soon as the leaves dry out some, I’m going to run the bastards over with a lawn mower to shred them. I’m then going to try my hand a composting (as opposed to compositing or composing) the little fucks.

Most everything I’ve read regarding composting stresses the importance of layering “brown” and “green” waste. But I’m more interested in what this guy is saying, especially since it makes more sense biologically. If I can compost just the leaves, I can pick up a worm bin for the kitchen scraps and not have to fool around with this layering shit. I have far more leaves than I do kitchen scraps.

I have my garbage can. I have access to a drill bit of appropriate size. I have a lawnmower for the shredding. And I have a fuckton of leaves.

Let the experiment commence.


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