Our 250 acre headquarters of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation is very near the huge northern California fires. I've been studying the FireWise Marin materials on protecting your structures from wild fires. They advocate keeping a 10-15' perimeter around each building that has no flammable, or at least no easily flammable, material. They suggest using a list of acceptable plants for this zone that meet certain criteria. We have 19 buildings with landscaping around most of them, and limited labor.
I've loved following the permies method of keeping a blanket of leaves and cut and drop plant materials around landscaping plants, it is easy and very efficient, and gives the plants the nutrients they need. But it is highly flammable and a major no-no for the perimeter near a building.
We need your suggestions for managing this near-to-structures landscaping zone. Wood chips are out. The materials Firewise suggests are: using rocks around the building, mulching with compost or other non-flammable material, or growing very low ground covers. Compost would be an expensive, time-consuming outside input for us; ground covers require tedious weeding; they are much higher maintenance than mulch, too high. I think a perimeter of rocks would be too ugly and again, a very expensive outside input.
Our acre food garden is far enough from structures that, fortunately, we can use all the chips and mulch we want there. All the compost we currently creates goes to the food garden.
Questions: How to manage the 15' area around buildings in a permies way?
How can I dispose of all the plant material and brush we will have to clear out? Most of it will be too coarse to put in the garden compost. What about burying it? If I bury it in an unused area of the food garden, would that become a good food growing area for the future? Or, how to compost it thoroughly enough so it woudn't be flammable and we could put it around the buildings?
If we decide to remove 20-50 huge old eucalyptus and cypress trees, would we be able to sell them to someone, at least for the cost of cutting and cleanup? How do I find such a buyer?
As you can see, we can use your help.