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Science & NatureEnvironmentYour fall leaves can help local farmers

Your fall leaves can help local farmers

Would you like your fall leaves to again this year be used to help Almonte-area farmers regenerate overworked soil and to take a small step towards addressing the climate emergency?

We use your leaves to produce a particular type of compost called fungal dominant compost. It serves as an inoculant to re-enliven the biology of degraded soil.

Thank you to the many neighbours who contributed 200 bags last year and the help of Joe Lee, Bob Kurus and Al Goddard. This spring we shared the fungal dominant compost from a 2017 batch with several farmers and several gardeners with a request that they give us “citizen science” type feedback on how it performed.

We filled 4 bioreactors last year which will be ready to use 18 months later in spring 2022. We have ambitions to do 8 batches this year. I am counting on the Millstone readers of Almonte to find 400 bags to help us fill the bioreactors this year. If the leaves are chopped by your lawnmower and have grass clippings included, that is an advantage. Please do not include stones, shrub brush or other woody material. I am expecting that the volume of leaves dropped this fall for our area has been reduced by the gypsy moth infestations of this past spring.

We don’t want to divert leaves that you would otherwise compost on your own property.

Drop Off – anytime before Nov 15th to 4925 March Road, 1 km east of the Almonte roundabout. Drive past the white house to parking behind. Add to the pile! I have a small pickup truck if you need a pickup. Please check with me before coming. Scott Hortop f.r.scott.hortop@gmail.com  1 647 637 8838 (old GTA cell phone, sorry).

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

Help Wanted – Building and loading the 2 cu. m. bioreactors is labour intensive. Volunteer help is welcomed!

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