What not to do with last year’s leaves.
My neighbors make me clench my teeth in frustration. Right now they are out there, raking the wet, half decayed leaves into the ditch, dousing them with gasoline, waiting five minutes, and then tossing in a match. This is wrong on so many levels. One. I had a friend who was a fire department volunteer who died in a training fire because gas was used improperly to start the fire. Two. They are applying the gas with a plastic can to the already smoldering pile. Gas is tricksy. The vapor can lead the flame right up into the container, and then? Bigger boom than the ones I am already hearing. Three. Gasoline in the ditch is a very very very bad idea. Gasoline in the ditch means gasoline in the ground water. We are on wells in this community. I am thinking about calling the cops, because this is a direct threat to my health, and the health of every other person in this community that draws from that ground water. Four. Dear god, those idiots annoy me. I am, I know, The Cranky Lady on the Corner. But here, here is what you do with old leaves: If you don't have a compost pile, or if the pile is full, stuff 'em into a couple of black garden bags and leave them in a corner, behind the garage maybe. In a year they will be mostly decomposed and ready to use as mulch, or turned into the compost to further contribute to the richness of that particular batch. Burning leaves is a waste. If you are stuffing bags with new, dry leaves in the fall, take the hose to the bag before you tie it and wet 'em down a bit. Use what nature gives us and she will give it again and again. Abuse it, and it's gone. Sigh.