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Am I the only one. ..  RSS feed

 
Mark Chadwick
Posts: 81
Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
chicken forest garden urban
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that mows public land for compost materials?

When I am faced with an abundance of carbon I get out and cut the parkland adjacent to the house.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3889
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
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No, I have been known to rake leaves from county parks. Bag them up and fill a truck to the brim.
 
Mark Chadwick
Posts: 81
Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
chicken forest garden urban
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Leaves I get from work, I picked up a cubic metre this morning! Eucalyptus so only good for litter for the hens, still better than buying straw and a change from sawdust from the nearby stables. Gotta give the fungus something different to digest!
Nitrogen is the thing I find in shortest supply most of the time despite mowing tthree properties in my street.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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It takes 'green manure' to turn your dirt into soil. Get it where ever you can.
Billion of tons get wasted every year. Don't let it happen in your neighborhood.

 
Mark Chadwick
Posts: 81
Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
chicken forest garden urban
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I'm a collector of all sorts of stuff, much to Julie's occasional distress.
Our local greengrocers (produce store) supplies heaps of green leafy scraps, but it's too valuable as chicken feed to compost.
Leaves from work, foraged punky rotten round wood, lawn clippings - I can't pass up something useful.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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There is a power company right of way through my suburban development. They do not have to cut back the weeds quite so much as I get out ther with my scythe and collect a bunch every now and then realistically I don't cut enough for them to notice, but I can gather material to mulch my garden beds and no one has any complaints.
 
Mark Chadwick
Posts: 81
Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
chicken forest garden urban
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There's a little ROW next to my mother in laws that I mow sometimes for the bonus fallen leaves.
At the moment I have three heaps cooking, and I am gathering for the next one. You can't have too much compost!!
 
John Polk
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Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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...realistically I don't cut enough for them to notice, but I can gather material to mulch my garden beds and no one has any complaints.

Many power companies use weed killer to control the growth of weeds.
If you can keep 'their' weeds under control, they don't need to spray in your neighborhood.
By harvesting 'their' weeds, you are doing a great service to yourself, them, and your neighborhood.

I knew a couple who moved into a rural/suburban area, and were shocked by the power company spraying so much that their plantings were dieing. They complained to the 'PC', who basically told them that if they wanted them to quit spraying, they would need to control the weeds. They took the challenge. Their entire block (both sides of the street) does not get sprayed anymore, and they get multiple compost piles from spring through autumn. Their neighbors love them, not so much for the stopping of the spraying (they could care less), but because they are putting in several hours each season making the neighborhood a nicer place to live. (The neighbors even quit complaining about the illegal flock of hens they keep...a dozen eggs here and there makes people forget about the 'nuisance' factor.)
 
Mark Chadwick
Posts: 81
Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
chicken forest garden urban
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So I'm not the only one. ...

What other great untapped resources are out there?

I help a friend collect firewood. He struggles to understand my liking for rotten logs, buried in the chicken run.

I tried to get a comfrey patch going in a corner of some nearby parkland but it was sprayed

Pine needles, a trip to plantation country.

Seaweed, off to the beach!

What am I missing? I'd love to hear from others that are scrounging soil building materials.

 
John Polk
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Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Don't know about AU, but here in the States, most Starbucks will give away the spent coffee grounds.
(Doesn't need to be Starbucks. Any coffee shop goes through a lot of grounds per day.)
They can be collected, filter and all...it's biodegradable as well.

 
Leila Rich
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Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Cafes around here throw out truckloads of used coffee grounds.
Most will gladly hand over bags for free-some even bag them up fancily first (starbucks...)
One I know of is even asking for donations-for a charity, but I balk at buying something they'd otherwise pay to have dumped
While we're on coffee-I can get free burlap coffee sacks from the roasters.
I use them for random garden-related stuff, but crafty people are using the funky printed bits for various things.
We love our coffee in Wellington!
*edit* and John wins the coffee race!
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Just did a quick Wikipedia search:
..coffee was the top agricultural export for twelve countries in 2004, and it was the world's seventh-largest
legal agricultural export by value in 2005.

Turns out that the world's 20 largest exporters, export 7,875,180 tonnes. So, if you add in the others, plus what doesn't go for export, there is over 8 million tonnes of coffee beans consumed each year. What a tremendous resource of organic waste!

 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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our local cafe actually keeps the the spent grounds in buckets in a special spot and people are free to come and help themselves they just ask that we return the buckets! there are no lawns around here to mow to get extra green to compost so all we do is get the coffee grounds. also too busy with little kids and the garden to look on neighbors property but most of the neighbors property is just forest like what we have here. and there is no public property i could take stuff from the public property is also forest with not much for composting.
 
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