Yard Waste Upcycle

Food Forest

This is the fantastic pile of rich yard waste we have to work with:

The purpose of this post is to demonstrate how a pile of twisted up “waste” can be useful for so many different things.  The pile is tree tops left by the logger and pushed aside, twisting everything up in a horrible knot.

This first thing I did was to walk around picking up all the dry sticks that were covering the mound.  These so called “useful sticks” are we we use to fuel the rocket stove that we cook on, outside, all of the warm season.  The pile will fuel us all season long.

Then I got to play with the chainsaw.  There was quite a bit of large logs that were off the ground just enough to dry for firewood.  Maybe a couple weeks worth of wood for the winter.  We also had 4 bonfires worth of wood that I didn’t get in the picture.

All the smaller branches went into a pile for “processing.”  They need to be cut up before they become “useful wood.”  Behind the branches is what I lovingly call “the ugly wood.”  Too big to chop up for useful wood and too small to bother with the chainsaw.  A lot of this wood goes into the hugelkulturs, some is bonfire wood, and maybe we’ll find another use.

Among the tangle were a bunch of giant rocks.  (The man had to move two of them for me…at least…)  The rocks were stacked up (sort of) nicely to make a base for the new stove and oven outdoor kitchen upgrade.  You’ll see a post about this coming up.

There are also the huge, rotten, slimy, fungus infested, rich logs thatget tossed into the hugel beds.  The really rotten logs will give these hugels a head start in turning to compost for the food forest that we will be planting.  I will need a place for my crabapple rootstock, and this will be perfect.  I am raking up all the little rotten bits and piling them on the beds along the main path of the property.  This will become a rich food forest, loaded with good things to eat, growing in the hugel beds.

I cut down some small trees and threw them on the hugels to compost along with everything else.  Then we put up a tarp for more shade.  And so we now also have a super functional, shady area.  And a rain collection area.

Now I only have the rest of this place to go…

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