Rake into piles. Mow and shred. Rake into piles.Mow and shred.
Wait a minute, I said after a half hour of a job going far slower than I’d hoped. If I want pulverized leaves for the compost pile and garden instead of leaves whole as they fall from the tree, look there!
In the eddy of the road, drifting leaves pile up, and especially near the edge of the yard where the mailman’s vehicle pulls up to drop off mail, leaves are ground to a fine powder. They’re even inoculated with dirt microbes to speed up decomposition.
An idea is born: rake leaves into the road and let the few passing cars do the pulverizing and pick them up ready for the compost pile or garden. Brilliant. I thought.
I seemed a genius of low-effort homesteading until two days after my plan was hatched. I’d pulled an hour’s worth of leaves down into the road, and the VDOT Volvo road plow came along and pushed all my leaf mulch somewhere else–into the creek around the bend of the road I guess.
And so much too for picking up the walnuts falling into the road below the house. We were letting the cars do the work of husking them, waiting for another week of nuts to go pick up the hard black kernals to dry in the shed and crack sometime this winter.
So I guess the moral of that story is that the state right-of-way is not a venue for making my life easier and what sounds like a good “windfall” idea that might make less work for me is just a bump in the road for the guy behind the wheel of the Volvo Monster Machine– which, come to think of it, we’ll be more than happy to see come the first wet snows of December.
VDOT giveth, and VDOT taketh away.