blog back next

Upcycling Autumn

November 15, 2010

Posted by Jimmy
Last Fall, like most American homeowners, I dutifully and painstakingly herded my leaves to the curb, where they were sucked up by a giant carbon-breathing machine. In the spring, another diesel-loving truck came and dropped off 5 yards of soil for which I paid $150. What's wrong with this picture? Let me answer that question with a question. What if I gave you everything you needed to make a cake, and then you charged me top dollar to have a piece of it? Nature upcycles those leaves back into soil-- a rich, leaf-humus that's about as good as anything on earth to put in your garden beds. Left to its own devices, nature takes its time-- about 2 years. In other words, if you just pile up all the leaves and do nothing, in a couple of years, most of it will have turned to soil. But I need soil next spring. So to help nature upcycle, I added some organic fertilizer to the pile. I also chopped up leaves with my lawn mower, put them in black garbage bags, added fertilizer and water and then tied up the bags. I should have soil in those bags in April. I'll let you know. That's my upcycling project. Sure is easier than turning your great aunt's cardigan into a funky tunic.