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

Searching for mulch

truckload of lack luster compostWe tried a new mulch source that has more down to Earth prices than The Mulch Company... including a sale on compost for just 10 bucks a scoop.

Don't get too excited. Their "compost" was just aged wood chips mixed in with average looking dirt.

I still took 2 scoops because I wanted to believe the lady at the desk when she said it was just "pure aged wood chips", and I was a bit fatigued from following a map that was not quite accurate on what may have been one of the hottest days of the year.

I knew right away something was amiss when Anna didn't get that same giddy laughter of joy I've become so accustomed to when I bring truckloads of compost home.

"We can still use it for areas in the forest garden where the clay doesn't drain well," she said trying to make me feel better.

BFR Mulch in Norton has a distorted definition of compost, but I guess it's a subjective term that will vary from person to person. The stuff will make okay raised bed material, but was barely worth hauling home when you gauge it on the Anna meter.

They have aged oak mulch for 21 dollars a scoop, which is what we'll try next.

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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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I really should try to be a little easier to please. I didn't mean you to think I was disappointed! It was an honest mistake.
Comment by anna Tue Aug 3 21:15:52 2010
But of course it is your willingness to try new things that led you to your farm in the first place and your high standards (being hard to please) that keep things improving. So I'd count this as just another step in the path to future success and another lesson for your readers.
Comment by Lisa Wed Aug 4 12:13:32 2010
Good point! If there's a lesson to learn it's to always test compost before you buy a truckload, and to trust your intuition. Mark asked them repeatedly if the compost had soil in it, and they swore it didn't though it clearly did. If he'd trusted his own instincts, he would have known the "compost" was really top soil.
Comment by anna Wed Aug 4 16:04:55 2010

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