The Last Harvest of the Year

The wind is blowing hard, filling the yard both front and back with the final harvest of the year.

The leaf harvest.

For many, leaves are the downside of having deciduous trees. For me, looking to become compost self-sufficient, leaves are nutrient-rich manna from heaven.

When leaves from the neighbours’ trees choose to migrate to our side of the fence, I am all but pumping my fist skyward in joy at my bonus bounty.

Let them fall, let them fall, let them fall.

Did you know that pound for pound, leaves contain twice as many nutrients as manure? Once composted, leaf mould can hold 300 to 500 percent of its weight in water, providing valuable moisture to the garden soil. Compare that to topsoil, where even the blackest, richest, soil will only hold 60 percent of its weight in water.

A good harvest of leaves in the fall can ensure a good harvest of everything else you hope to grow in the future.

The forecast for next week looks fabulous, despite the grey skies and howling bluster happening outside today. I am hoping to spend the next few sunshine filled days raking leaves into a compost pile of mountainous proportions, while dreaming of other harvests to come.

I just hope I don’t wake up to find all my precious leaves have flown over the fence onto the neighbours’ side in the gusty night…and since I don’t see any evidence of compost piles in our neighbours backyards, I’m betting they’re hoping the same!