I do need a certain amount of pruning done each year, and it never ceases to impress me the amount of biomass one can amass by just “thinning out” to allow for more garden light or to keep a roof clear. Feeding it back into the land seems the most logical route to go. Last year I purchased a small Sun Joe wood chipper to take care of small branches myself. At least once a year, however, I hire a small crew and chipper to deal with larger limbs and brush piles that would otherwise have to go to a controlled spring burn.
Learning about the Back to Eden gardening principles and techniques, especially the utilization of wood chips, a common byproduct of annual prunings here, inspired me to implement it at Moonhill to restore biomass and carbon back to the property from which it came. The process began in earnest in the fall of 2018 with a large pile at the side of the main house chipped from the most recent prunings. The pile was allowed to decompose over the winter, and it was slowly distributed to pathways throughout the lower garden over spring. The fall of 2019 saw another large pile created from seasonal prunings, and less time was allowed for in-pile decomposition as distribution happened more quickly throughout the growing zones.
Stay tuned for more info and pics of process and outcomes.
Back to Eden Gardening is a regenerative agriculture technique that implements organic gardening principles and is a no-dig method pioneered by gardener and arborist Paul Gautschi.