3 Ways to Utilize Fallen Leaves on Your Homestead

| 11/12/2015 9:57:00 AM

Tags: compost, chickens, raising livestock, poultry, fall gardening, Lydia Noyes, West Virginia,

 home sweet home

Fall days are death — if you are a leaf. For the rest of us, they are a glorious, vividly colorful final celebration before the doomy gloom of winter smothers every memory of happier times.

If you doubt my hatred of winter, just know I’ve spent the past two out of three winters fleeing to the tropics under the flimsy excuse of ”gaining farm experience.” One winter I studied abroad in Thailand, the other I worked on various farms throughout the Big Island of Hawaii as a WWOOFer. Learning permaculture techniques in a tropical setting was a great cover for the fact that I really just wanted to avoid another snowpocalpse season in Michigan. I don’t do well with cold, and I do even less well without natural light. But seeing as my new home of West Virginia doesn’t have the climate of a Pacific Island, winter is going to happen here regardless of my personal preferences.

Until that happens, I’ll continue to skip around barefoot and lay down in the grass to read books. And Ian and I will continue to use as much of the fleeting daylight that we can to continue with our property projects. This week, we tried to figure out what to do with the thick blanketing of dead leaves dropped around our home by the surrounding forest.

Project 1: Quick Compost


The first project we tackled was pulling out an old chipper we discovered stashed in a shed to shred up as many leaves as we could collect in piles. This was a two person job, so while I scurried around with a big rake and bigger tarp, Ian fed the piles into the roaring machine.

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