Ruth Stout Would Approve Anyway

So the leaves did not all blow away in the wild and windy night, and I think I may have even inherited some more from the neighbour, for which I am very grateful.

The bounty, however, wasn’t as much as I would have liked. I am considering lurking around some parks to see what there is to be gathered in the way of leaves there.

Gone are the days when people would leave bags of leaves on the curb on garbage day. Now we have black garbage cans to wheel out one week and blue recycling cans the next and a few days scattered through the year where you can take yard waste to a gathering place. I have seen the dates advertised but am not sure how it works, since I hoard all my yard waste like Gollum clutching his precious ring. I wonder if they let you take yard waste instead of bringing it?

In Calgary they now have green recycling cans for kitchen scraps and yard waste, but even if Fort St. John follows suit, I would never have the nerve to actually lift lids to peek inside other people’s bins. It is one thing to nab a few exposed bags of leaves off the curb, but quite another to open someone else’s bin to have a look-see at what treasures there may be inside.

I was going to start a new compost pile behind the shed, layering in my freshly harvested leaves, when I suddenly channeled Ruth Stout, The Queen of Mulch and inventor of the No Dig, Permanent Hay Mulch method.

Stop making so much work for yourself! I imagined Ruth saying. Just put the leaves directly on the beds the same way Nature does it. This isn’t rocket science. If it works for Nature, it will work for you.

And so I spread my bounty of leaves on my two raised 4 x 16 vegetable beds and put what was leftover on the perennial beds, and then watered them down so they won’t blow away. When I finished I still needed about three times as many leaves to finish the job.

Which means I need about eight more trees.

Or the neighbour does.