The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

The beginning of leaf season

Fall colors

It's leaf season!  I look forward all year to the time when free biomass falls out of the air, so I start raking as soon as the first drifts pile up. 

Leaf mulch

Right now, that means sycamores, buckeyes, and box-elders (and walnuts, but I work around those).  The combination of early leaves makes a good mixture that clumps well (the box-elder and buckeye) while not rotting away immediately (the sycamore).

Later, the tougher oak leaves will fall, which make a long-lasting mulch and soak up lots of nitrogen under the chicken roosts.  Oak leaves tend to blow around more, though, so I try to put them under fruit trees where the limbs shield the breeze.


I can go through a pretty much unlimited number of leaves just putting the fruit trees and bushes to bed, but I do my best to stock some up for adding to the chicken coop throughout the winter.  I was thinking of building a special leaf-storage bin that would let me push leaves in from the top and open a door on the side to pull them out, but then I realized the cleaned-out brooder was perfect, and wouldn't be needed again by chickens until spring.  Lets see how many bags of leaves I can cram inside.

Our EZ Miser kits make it cheap and easy to build your own automatic chicken waterer.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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