We all know why we call this season Fall...could it be leaves falling everywhere?
I revel in scuffing noisily through them like the kid-at-heart I totally am. I enjoy racing swirling leaves blown by our Nevada zephyrs as I ride my bike to and from work. I rejoice in colorful leaves backlit against the intense blue of a high desert sky.
I even like the physicality of raking leaves into piles. At least for the first time.
Not so much the second and third times.
Or the fourth, fifth and sixth times.
So I started letting the chickens have all the leaves from the cherry tree by their run so they can scratch and rustle to their little hen-ly hearts content. As a bonus, I had a nice cushionly soft carpet of leaves to tread upon when I collected eggs from autumn through winter to early spring. Alas, springtime was also when I faced shoveling out the run--the leaves didn't decompose like I'd hoped, they just organized themselves into layered heavy pancakes for me to scrape and haul.
All the maple, peach and apple leaves were tossed into the compost bin for the winter. That worked, sort of. Yeah, the slimy layered mash again.
Last autumn I raked leaves into large piles.
Used the lawn mower to mulch them into small bits.
Wonder of wonders, they composted perfectly, both in the bin and in the chicken run. Happy dance!
I'm doing the same thing this autumn and trying hard not to be smug as I watch my neighbors haul out bag after bag of leaves for trash day.
The landfills are happy, my compost bin is happy, the hens are happy.
My hayfever isn't thrilled but that's what allergy pills are for.