(image from mastercomposter.com)
I steal leaves in both green and brown and, aside from the occasional handful of pet waste, I have enjoyed using my nieghbour's organic waste to create an abundant landscape.
I have learned over the years that compost is very forgiving and can handle a certain amount of weed seed, diseased material, oils, acids, meat and dairy, and yes, even doo-doo. Stealing fresh grass clippings is one way to get a nice, hot pile going and keep the pile working well.
Today, an article came to me from LetsRecycle.com warning about certain chemicals that will persist in compost and manure piles and do some damage to sensitive crops down the road.
The chemicals are clopyralid and aminopyralid, found in some herbicides. Happily, they are not found in the latest trendy lawn treatement - CGM.
This might be a time to mention, if you have not heard, that Good Growing Neighbours may be affected in this round of budget talks. In this post Weed 'N Feed world, I hope the messages are picked up by other programs (indeed, Office of Environment, EPCOR, and many garden centres are doing a great job of spreading the word about healthy lawn practices).
clippings on newspaper makes a great mulch to lead you up the garden paths.
Next summer, when stealing grass clippings for my garden, I will look for a few weeds in the bag, sniff around for a faint cereal smell, and watch a bit more closely for pet waste. A bumper crop of tomatoes means tasty salsa on Mojito night!
I have heard that the currency of the future will not be fresh water, but photosynthesis. In a way I am robbing today's riches and socking it away under my mattess of topsoil. The soil is my bank and I will continue my clandestine deposits for future family feasts!