Love Those Leaves!!

Oh fine, here we go with another story about leaves. Just what every red blooded Yankee wants to hear about this time of year, right? And by Yankee, I mean anyone who is far enough north to enjoy the massive seasonal leaf gathering festival we call “fall.” Each year, Mom Nature paints the landscape with the beautiful autumn hues we’ve grown to know and love. Yup, the leaves are already busy sninkling (huh?) down from the trees and chasing each other to and fro all over the ground. In fact, you could even say they’re in full-sninkle!

Well, maybe I’ll just say that… anyway, the colors sure are awesome right now!

When I was a kid, seems like everyone burned their leaves. Not only a big waste of wonderful fertilizer, but a big source of air pollution. I remember when I was little, I lost much hair and eyebrows when I jumped into a leaf pile my father made. He sternly warned me to jump in BEFORE the fire was set next time! Remember leaf smoke filling the autumn air? Those were the good (?) old days when no one was very particular about particulates. Leaf burning is somewhat rare now. Instead, many of them are bagged up for the gobbich man. Hey, nobody asked me, but my two cents is that leaves are NOT gobbich, man!

Being an organic gardener, I have been a leaf collector for many years. People have given me strange looks when I pulled my trailer up to the curb and made off with their leaves. If anyone is around, I always ask first; and then they’d say, “Sure!” Then they’ll lead me to the other 195 bags in their back yard. Leaf collectors are becoming more numerous now; as more folks realize their value in the garden as fertilizer and mulch. Not only
that, a bunch of us leaf collectors get together at the old Breakfast Burp Cafe and trade leaves on Saturday mornings. My “prize leaf ” is a 1971 maple that really makes me proud. A nice bowl of leaves are really great with milk and sugar too! High fiber.

OK, I may be fooling…

As I’ve already mentioned, and much to my Beautiful Honey-Pie’s chagrin, I actually bring leaves from other people’s yards by cruising the neighborhood with my brand new 2001 Chrysler Towne & Country and trailer. I take every kind of leaves I can get my mitts on: maple, pine needles, and yes even oak. Contrary to popular opinion, there’s nothing wrong with oak leaves in your garden; especially when they are composted. After 35 years of building up what used to be basically beach sand, my garden soil is nice and black, thank you very much.

In the past, my Lovely Best Friend Wife Person would have a fit when I brought home a load of leaves. She never griped about the veggies we got, but I’ve heard her mumble about “all these &^%$ing leaves” when I come home with a trailer full. My Beautiful Girlfriend would then look at me with her beautiful baby blue eyes and say, “what, we don’t have enough leaves in OUR yard??” I’d always respond with, “when it comes to the garden, more is better.” She’d just grunt, shake her head, mumble some more and go about her business. After many years, though, she’s become much more accepting of the Annual Leaf Run. We do have a rule though: I’m not allowed to bring other people’s leaves home until ours are cleaned up first. Seems fair enough.

Sssshhh… don’t tell her but sometimes I sneak some in when she doesn’t know!

Well, cold weather will be here before we know it; and I’m absolutely certain that this is exactly the way all the woodland creatures will prepare…