When I realized that Mulching is the most undervalued Gardening practice, my quest for best mulching options began. I realized that there is nothing at par with dry leaves when it comes to mulching. During my search for dry leaves, I came across BROWN LEAF – a forum founded by Aditi Deodhar dedicated to stop the burning of dry leaves! What a beautiful concept I thought!
Dry leaves are often considered as waste or litter and are burnt away. This not only pollutes the atmosphere but is also a substantial loss for the environment as what comes from the soil should go back to the soil. Aditi was deeply moved by this method of dealing with Dry Leaves. She shares that when she started to advice the city sweepers against burning of these leaves, they started piling the leaves; to a point that they didn’t know what to do with the heaps of leaves. It was to address this issue that BROWN LEAF was born.
BROWN LEAF was founded by Aditi Deodhar in Feb 2016 in the city of Pune. BROWN LEAF adopts 3 way solution for dealing with Dry Leaves – Mulch, Compost & Donate. It now co-ordinates demand and supply of Dry leaves.
Brown Leaf on WGR
BROWN LEAF has a dedicated app wherein you can inform about the availability of excess Dry leaves in your area/locality/Streets which will be then coordinated to somebody who is in need of these leaves.
To know more about the organization you can visit their website, www.brownleaf.org
Aditi says, she wishes to replicate this model all over India where the dry leaves are burnt off! If you wish to take BROWN LEAF to your city or if you wish to know more you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
Keep Mulching & Composting 🙂
We discussed mulching about a year back! When I started studying mulching, I realized it is one of the most important practices of Gardening/Farming.
Mulching is nothing but covering the soil around your plants with organic matter; mainly dried leaves.
Covering the top layer of soil with dried leaves prevents sunlight from entering the soil. So the first and direct benefit is reduction in loss of water due to evaporation. Thereby reducing the need to frequently water the plants. (Well… we all know this.. so whats new?, you’re asking!)
While this was a common understanding, the lesser known fact is that, the organic matter (dried leaves in our example) also entraps the moisture from atmosphere, thereby keeping the soil moist. Hence there is a drastic reduction in both the frequency and quantity of water required to be supplied.
The third crucial benefit is that since it prevents sunlight from reaching the soil, it also prevents weeds from growing. Hence there is no depletion of nutrients from the soil.
We know that a healthy soil is a one which has a high level of microbial and insect activity. Now, there is a particular environment that these microbes love, that is, the darkness and humidity. And mulching exactly does that. It creates the required darkness by blocking sunlight and an ideal humidity level by entrapping moisture. This enhances the microbial activity in the soil manifold!
The last one, the leaves that are used for mulching, decompose over a period of time and act as a great nutrient for plant growth. So the plants have enough nutrients because they don’t have to compete with weeds and there is a continuous supply from the leaves.
Mulching indeed is one of the most undervalued gardening and farming practice!
Disclaimer: The images used in this post do not belong to reemasgarden.com