Well another gardening season has come and gone. Sure there’s still some tomato plants that are still doing well and I’ve got tons of peppers that I need to pick but for the most part, that fat lady has started singing. Lately, I don’t even visit the garden everyday. And when I get home from work it’s dark out, so getting outside with the camera just hasn’t been happening.
But while most of you are getting ready to snuggle up next to your fireplaces with a cup of hot chocolate and your favorite 2008 gardening catalog, I’m getting ready for my busy season. There’s lots to do in the fall if you’re a composter. You see, there’s treasure falling right out of the trees and it's just waiting to be raked up and composted. After a whole summer of rotten apples, half eaten pumpkins, plant waste, grass clippings and kitchen scraps, my compost bins are in serious need of some browns. And the best source of browns that I know is leaves.
And not only do I scoop up all of my leaves but I’ve also been known to go out after dark and borrow my neighbor’s leaves as well. Yes, being a composter has forced me into a life of crime. I’m a leaf thief.
Here in Northern New Jersey, we don’t have to bag our leaves. We just rake them into piles and leave them out on the curb. Then the leaf collectors from the town will come by with a big vacuum truck right out of a Dr. Seuss story and suck up all of the leaves.
But this makes swiping leaves a little more interesting. My primary method is to use a rake and a garbage can. I run out to the piles and hit them hard and fast trying to get as many leaves in the can as possible before high tailing it back to my yard. I envy all of you leaf thieves that can drive around in your fancy SUVs and grab nice neat bags and then make your get away while listening to your favorite CDs. Sure you must score loads of leaves in very little time but where’s the fun in that? I bet you don't even hum the theme to Mission Impossible while you're out there. Ummm... not that I do that or anything.
So while you’re sitting there nice and comfy with your garden catalog trying to figure out which tomato seeds you’d like to try next year, take some comfort in knowing that I’m outside stealing your leaves. Don’t worry, they’ll be put to good use.