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Good points, Bruce and melo. Smaller, less fuel-dependent processes and somewhat decentralized (regional) production centers will be important features of more sustainable systems.

melo - was your reference to "winter rye ... clover" concerning green compost for gardens? If so, consider leaves for winter cover. They are my main humus (no hummus, thanks) sources. Earthworms love them, too. By Spring the leaves are quite fragile and are ready to spade in. Just have to be a little careful as to type. Oak leaves and black walnut leaves are essentially somewhat poisonous to a lot of plants. In the Pacific Northwest I use Western Maple and Alder leaves, which are ubiquitous.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 11:21:48 PM EST
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yeah, what some call 'green manure'.

leaves work well, here i use chestnut and oak mostly, some hedge maple.

if i followed your method, i think most would be carried off by winter winds here....

composting them and digging in the compost before planting works best in this region. i recently bought a machine that renders up to 1" branches into mulch, but i'm not using it till my panels are installed, as it sucks a lot of wattage, and my electric bill is over the moon, even being hyperfrugal.
i tried it out though and it works really well, fluffs up the pile and helps it all break down aerobically.

thanks for the info paul, how about a gardening diary or two?

with pix!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 at 04:00:10 AM EST
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