welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Thursday, December 15, 2022

garden news-save those leaves



this is a picture of my old farm trunk full of bags of leaves from the country n
we called her old blackie
she was all beat up and scarred but she ran good
she is still alive
we gave her to a friend who uses her to haul hay etc on her property
she old blackie is now 23 years old

a quick story on how i ended up with her
i wanted a truck knowing we were moving to the country n
a friends teenage son owned her but upgraded to a new truck
they traded it in to a dealership in dallas for a new vehicle
i knew they were going to get rid of her
i called and said i would like to buy her
knowing it was low mileage and in good condition
sorry he said 
we traded it in 
i called the dealership
yep we got it
i said i want it 
im jumping on a plane to today to buy it
i flew up caught a cab went to the dealership bought it
drove it home that afternoon
blackie is part of the country n lore

later in life my dad use to collect leaves from neighbors and cover his garden with them
then till them under to enrich the soil

we also when we lived in town would rake up our leaves and burn them
now something not allowed
thank goodness

each fall at the country n i would collect leaves from friends former patients and anyone who would let me have their leaves as long as they didnt use bad chemicals on their yards
i would go pick them up 
each year i would accumulate around 100+ large bags of leaves

yes i would even roam neighborhoods on trash day and take the bags of leaves on the curb

my wife she had folks giving her leaves from work
she also would grab leaves she saw parked on the curb
a sort of leaf curb alert

once a former patient messaged me and said theres an empty lot near us with about a hundred bags of leaves
i got everyone of them

we used the leaves as mulch around our trees and shrubs
most though were dumped in our chicken run and in our larger coup area
all 100+ of them

over time the chickens would shred those leaves into a fine material
adding their chicken poop to help break down the leaves even more
what was left was a rich rich compost
i used it in my garden and around my fruit trees and around my shrubs
i hardly ever bought compost 

i also used the leaves to mulch heavily in the walkways in my garden and to mulch my veggies to hold in moisture and to add insulation in the winter

if we got too many leaves which usually happened i stored them in a big ole pile behind the chicken coop

i usually harvested the compost twice a year from the chicken run and coop
usually right before it was time to prep my garden beds
i got 2-3 truck loads of finished compost each year from all those leaves

there is a rule
dont let leaves leave your property
unless you give them away to someone like me

that should be true for all your compostable food waste
we fed ours to our chickens which pooped a lot of it out to mix with the shredded leaves to make our compost
here in santa barbara i take our food wastes and feed it to the chickens or put it into my compost buckets buried in my garden

now you can leave the leaves in a big ole pile in a corner of your yard and over time they will break down
albeit slowly

here in santa barbara i dont have a lot of access to leaves
we do have two gardeners who bring their leaves to our garden
we layer them into our compost
ill think i start dumping them in our chicken run like we did at the country n

we do have a couple of live oaks in our community garden but we just let the leaves fall to the ground and stay there
they are located in our compost area and outside kitchen area
they provide a thick mulch on the ground in this area

now if you cant use your leaves or give them away
consider putting them in your green waste can to go to the cities recycle system

dont burn them
give them away
just let them scatter to the winds
nature knows what to do with them

make a big ole pile real high
go jump in them with your kids and your dogs 
remember how much fun that was

also composting your leaves is a great way to sequester that carbon

all good reasons to
save those leaves

the organicgreen doctor

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