Leaves as a soil amendment
Guatemalan farmers harvest vast quantities of
fallen leaves (broza) out of
nearby woods to incorporate into their soil. Wilken estimates
that farmers rake up leaves from 5 to 8 acres of forest for each acre
of crop they cultivate, although he hastens to add that farm fields are
small. Some farmers just hoe the leaves directly into their
soil, while others use the leaves as animal bedding for a week, then
incorporate the poopy bedding into the soil. The latter method is
especially effective since nitrogen in the manure and urine offsets the
nitrogen lost during the initial stages of leaf decomposition.
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