Waste not, want not

Stacking wasn’t the only thing I did on Saturday. I also took care of the pile of leftover logs that were either too long for the splitter, or too rotten to bother.

I left two as benches facing the pond. (They look small, but each can seat 2 adults.)

The rest became pathway edging. If you click, you can see it goes all the way around the top of the Fiddlehead.

Yes, they’re really big – but this is the swampiest part of the garden so they need to be huge in order to not rot right away. And we’re trying to build up the soil with compost etc., so they hopefully they will be half-buried in just a couple years.

I still can’t believe I moved them all by myself. They each must have weighed about 75 pounds – remember they were soaked and 3′ long.

Then I was left with an absolute mess of bark. Drifts and drifts of it. It won’t burn well, and would be no good in the soil as it will take forever to decompose. I was wondering if we’d just have to take the whole mess to the dump when I hit on the perfect solution –  use it as a pathway substrate.

Remember that winding path I talked dreamily about a few posts ago? This is where it starts.

All my garden paths are made by laying down landscape fabric and topping it with 4-6″ of (free) wood chips from a local tree company. (It’s a win-win; they don’t have to pay dump fees, and I get free pathway material which later becomes organic matter for my soil). The main problem is the lifespan of the landscape fabric – three to five years. It might be longer if I could keep it off the soggy soil.

So the bark has a perfect role to play here. It’ll keep the fabric just a teeny bit elevated from the mud. It’ll still biodegrade, adding valuable material to the soil… just very, very slowly. And I’m getting good use out of it in the mean time.

I love that so far, our land-clearing has been a closed-circle of sustainability. Everything we took from this land is being returned to it either as pathway edging, compost (the bark) or ash (the firewood).

8 Responses to “Waste not, want not”

  1. heidi Says:

    my daughter is one smart cookie!

  2. Ginny Says:

    That’s been my motto for as long as I can remember.and I try my darndest to live by it :o)
    Nice going.

  3. diana Says:

    Ginny: It’s a great motto to live by! It came darned close to being the title of this whole blog. :)

  4. Autumn Says:

    That’s a smart idea for the pathways! I’ve seen other people use logs as garden edgings, they look pretty cool!

  5. Mrs. Brent Parker Says:

    I bet your neighbors are glad that huge log pile is gone.

  6. diana Says:

    Autumn: Thanks! At first I thought they were way too big but now I’m kind of liking the look of them.

    Mrs. Parker: The whole time I was getting it cleaned up I hoped they were watching and appreciating how hard we were working. :)

  7. Rose Says:

    Again I wish for a thumbs-up emoticon!

  8. diana Says:

    Ha ha ha Rose, the absence of a thumbs-up emoticon or “like” option forces you to actually communicate! All part of my nefarious plot! :)

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