Tuesday, 2 December 2008

campaign against leaf blowers!


We are seeing the final leaves coming away from the trees. Introduced species usually lose their leaves first, and our indigenous oaks hold on to theirs longest.

Now, the oaks of Sherwood are almost bare – and lucky Nottinghamshire gardeners can reap the benefit.

Pictured is our stash of leaves swept from the roads and parks of Gedling Borough and deposited at the allotments.

I had already barrowed many loads across, and today there was a steaming pile of oak leaves from Arnot Hill Park waiting to complete my pile.

Leaves are nature’s treasure and fit comfortably within a philosophy of ‘slow gardening’. This years leaves should be left for a couple of years or longer and make a friable organic soil conditioner when they have broken down into leaf mould. They are greedily grabbed by those who understand this and who can see beyond today.

Yet there are people who do not welcome leaf fall. It depresses me to see bags of leaves left out for collection by householders and not stored away to improve our sandy soils. I am astonished to see that people do not even have the energy to sweep or rake the leaves away but use air blowers.

These blowers should become the symbol of the sustainable gardening movement. Not only do they consume energy in their production and distribution, they use electricity to operate. What ever happened to the besom broom made from birch twigs and fastened to a thin, straight branch? It was used until worn out and then another made. No carbon footprint and perfectly fit for purpose!

Now I know, I know. They say that the environmental movement is full of puritans whose whole desire is to take the fun out of everything. In this case you're too dang right! I am happy to be the Oliver Cromwell of sustainability if these ridiculous and unnecessary machines are removed from the High Street.

I was delighted to read in a back issue of Organic Matters that a Canadian councillor is trying to ban leaf blowers. Well done Oliver.

You're bringing sanity to a world of madness!!!!!!!!!!!

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