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10 April 2007


M Light

The neighbors on our street all rake their leaves to the road, and the town comes by and vacuums them up. It's all for a good cause - the town composts leaves and yard waste, and people can go to the landfill and get the compost, but my husband has a better way. He goes up and down the street with his wheelbarrow, collects the leaves, and dumps them in the vegetable garden. They compost over the winter, and he tills them under in the spring. I've never understood giving all this valuable organic matter away.


I love knowing that about you - leaf thief :))


M Light: I think it's great that your husband goes and collects the leaves! I bet that you guys have a great garden because of it.

Joan: Now...I just KNOW that you'd join me in my leaf-snatching escapades in a heartbeat.


When I was growing up, my father was a microbiologist for a plant pathology dept. at a large agricultural university. My best friend was the daughter of one of his co-workers, and whenever I spent the night with her we would make us go out on Saturday morning and offer to rake up all the pine needles in elderly neighbor's yards. They all thought we were the sweetest little girls, but he was actually doing it so that he could steal their pine needles to line his flower beds. Your story totally gave me flashback.


I just laughed myself silly envisioning you skulking around picking up other people's leaves. What fun!

I'm always amazed by what people put out for the trash guys. How sad...


Taylor: That's hilarious. I haven't gotten to the point that I volunteer to rake the leaves yet, but I must admit once that one of my graduate students suggested it is a possibility!

Pat: I highly recommend skulking!


I'm composting them, but I'm a bit concerned that this is going to throw off my results, considering how acidic and flat-out tough they are.

I considered swiping the bags my neighbors set out to the curb last weekend, but then realized that my compost bin is already 3/4 and we haven't even gotten around to prime biomass production season.

So I demurred.

By the way, during my teenage years we developed a trick of finding out where the power company was trimming limbs and collecting up the good wood they left behind to be cut into stove lengths, split, seasoned and (we hoped) sold. In some cases we could do this overtly, but in others we would have to skulk back under to cover of darkness to collect the debris for our low-overhead firewood business. I became rather good at skulking, and I now enjoy the occasion skulk just for skulking's sake.


Daniel: I mulch directly, and skip that whole composting step. I highly recommend it. (And I recognized you as a skulker from the first time we meet).

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