Over the last little while (like the last couple years) we have been collecting a lot of green waste. Most of it isn’t ours, it is waste that we have brought in. The thing is, it’s not waste to us, to us it is brown gold. Beautiful, rich, nourishing brown gold that is going to help us make this desert blossom and feed families.
In the past we have rented chippers and shredders to process the trees, branches and bushes that we acquire, but this year we decided to invest in our own chipper/shredder. It will pay for itself in about two weeks.
The shredded leaves and branches will become deep mulch for our gardens, the idea is that we are mimicking the natural fertility found in the forests. In the most naturally fertile areas of the world you will find deep layers of organic matter, leaves that have fallen, rotting wood, worms and manure from animals. At the farm we are attempting to recreate this fertility, the chipped leaves and branches are icing on the cake, or the top of the sheet mulching.
The bed above has layers of paper and cardboard, straw and horse manure, we are now adding 6-8 inches of the shredded mulch on top. Along with adding so much organic matter and fertility, we are also preserving water, the water in this dry, dry land will stay put under all the layers of leaves. The deep layer of mulch will also snuff out weeds and the weeds that do make it through will be easily pulled. A big bonus around here.
The bed above is finished and has been planted with our spring peas, all tucked in among the beautiful leaf and wood mulch.