Thought I would share my favorite trick when my neighbors start looking at me with that "Mow your wierd hippie-lawn" look. To make the task of carbon/nitrogen layering your compost pile easier, I just take a bunch of high carbon material (usually last year's fallen leaves) and scatter them on top of the grass right before I mow (often I just chuck piles around the yard). Then I just mow it up, using the bag. The mower does a marvelous job of mixing and shredding, and I basically have a compost pile that just needs a bit of water to really get it going. Of course, removing the vegetation from the lawn in the first place might seem a bit unnecessary, but again--if you're worried about pleasing The Jones'--this method works like a charm. And it's a way to make a lawnmower into less of a brutish, dirty machine and into more of a soil-creator.
You can also use the mower to shred large leaves. Just stack them in a windrow in front of a solid fence or garage door, and mow them down. Just make sure the blower is always facing the fence/door to keep them confined.
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