Wood chip mulch
If someone had asked me
yesterday how long wood chips need to age before they can be used as
mulch, I would have said, "You should probably wait two years.
And even then there could be pockets of chips too young to mulch
with. Wait until your chips have turned black."
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I'll tell you something completely different. With a flock of
broilers scratching through and fertilizing fresh wood
chips, and with wild
fungi colonizing the substrate, your wood chips could be perfect mulch
in just 6 months. And black isn't the prime color --- white
is. The best mulch will be held together by huge masses of
mycelium, bringing the fungi to
bacteria ratio to
the point that trees love.
As I shoveled the world
class mulch out of the forest pasture, I had to keep my wits about me
so that I didn't cut off any hen toes. My wise old hens knew that
worms and grubs like to hide out under mulch, and they also knew that
the hen closest to the shovel always gets the prize.
The chickens feed the
wood chips, the wood chips feed the orchard, and the grubs feed the
chickens. I love it when permaculture systems fit so well