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Science & NatureEnvironmentLeaf Project – thank you, everyone

Leaf Project – thank you, everyone

November: Eight new batches settle into their job of breaking leaves down into fungal dominant compost

The fall rush is behind us. In the calm of this deep freeze, we want to say thanks to so many people who donated their leaves. We hoped for 400 bags and we got the equivalent of 700 bags.

With extraordinary volunteer help from Mike Pitcher, Pam Steele, Bob Kurus and Dave Bustard, we built and filled 8 bioreactors. We are very grateful to the Millstone News for giving us this channel to connect with you.

We were able to share the bounty with Alberto Suarez for The Nature’s Apprentice Farm in Pakenham delivering 100 Almonte bags for his Pakenham bioreactor. We did a drive around Pakenham the evening before the municipal pick-up date and gathered a full truck/trailer load that we took directly to Alberto’s farm.

Many donors expressed their pleasure at having a convenient drop-off spot available after the Howie Road dump had closed. Next fall when you bring leaves, to show our appreciation, you can take away a small bag of the fungal dominant compost to experience and experiment with.

January: 8 frozen towers stoically wait for spring

A better use of leaves

We are using your leaves to produce a particular type of compost called fungal dominant compost. It serves as a probiotic or inoculant to re-enliven the biology of degraded soil for Lanark farmers to regenerate overworked soil and to take a small step towards addressing the climate emergency. Healthy diverse soil fungi contribute to improved water use efficiency, to disease and weed suppression and to improving soil organic matter levels.

This past spring we shared the fungal dominant compost from an earlier batch with several farmers, with several gardeners and with the Blakeney Food Bank project with a request that they give us “citizen science” type feedback on how it performed. For this spring, we have 5 batches started in 2020 available. We would love to talk with any Lanark farmer interested in a small-scale controlled trial.

The 8 batches from this fall 2021 will be ready to use 18 months later in spring 2023.

This project is part the Climate Network Lanark and its Compost Working Group. It is also part of the work of ONfungi.net discovering, through citizen science, the potential of fungi in soil to address the climate emergency. Check out these websites.

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