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People in the cities across India are growing their own food. If not all, but at least some vegetables, salads, herbs.
They utilize their terraces, balconies for this purpose.
Where to get soil for this? Buying soil is very expensive. And not very ideal for ecosystem.
These determined gardeners have found a solution for this. They utilize compost made using dry leaves and kitchen waste. Some of them use part soil and part compost, some use only compost, without any soil.
You have a big problem, “What to do with all these dry leaves in your premises”. Do you know a funny thing? For these gardeners, it is even bigger “where to get all these dry leaves?”
Yes, believe me :-).
And that is why we created Brown Leaf forum in Pune city, to exchange dry leaves from “People who have dry leaves” to “People who want dry leaves”
Want to read our story? Here it is Brown Leaf Story
Okkay, and here is the main part.
Since best strategy for you is to donate your dry leaves, then you need to find the leaf-takers i.e the gardeners and terrace gardeners around you.
Oh, don’t worry, they exist everywhere. Just take a stroll in your lane looking up and you will find some terrace with plants peeping out. Really, it is that simple.
If you are not comfortable peeping into people’s terraces, then social media is your best option.
Draft a msg and circulate to your contacts and on whatsapp groups. And just wait. I promise, you won’t need to wait for long. In no time, your phone will start ringing.
Of course, you cannot just expect somebody to come to your place, and collect the leaves from your premises or from the heap where you have collected them. No, you will have to go a step further.
Pack the leaves in gunny bags and keep them ready. Either you do it or let somebody help you. But do extend this courtesy to the leaf-taker. Remember you are helping each other.
Ensure leaves are segregated, there is no plastic/ paper/ bottles or any type of waste.
If there are any green leaves mixed with dry leaves, that is fine.
How to arrange for all these gunny bags? Go to your regular grocer and ask for sugar gunny bags. They are big and quite sturdy. Your grocer might give it to you for free or might charge some small amount.
But don’t worry, you need to do this only once. When leaf-taker picks up dry leaves from you, ask him/her to replace the gunny bags or return the empty ones later.
Remember, this system is based on mutual respect.
Here, let us help you with the message part to get you started.
I have a lot of dry leaves. Do you want them for mulching or composting?
I will be happy to donate you the leaves. They will be segregated and nicely packed in gunny bags for you to pick up.
Such exchange system is successfully working in Pune city. You can read about it here, https://brownleaf.org/story-how-brown-leaf-started/
Do reply to this msg and we will fix mutually convenient time for leaf-pickup.
Do bring along empty gunny bags to replace the ones you collect.
My details as below->
I stay in ............. area.
Contact number: .............
No. of gunny bags:............
Here is an infographic that explains the whole concept.
If you find it useful, feel free to share it along with your msg.
(To download, right click on the image and do “save image as”.)
Here is a thought. Dry leaves is a valuable resource to grow your own food. I am sure, your would-be-leaf-taker would vouch for that.
How about utilizing some of it yourself?
Want to try gardening?
It is not really very difficult. The green thumb and all is quite hyped up.
If you want to, you can certainly grow plants.
Again, start small. Herbs are quite easy to grow and low maintenance creatures. Start with them. Morning tea with freshly cut lemon grass from your balcony? it is amazing, isn’t it?
Still not sure, here is a blog for you, by Guest Blogger Reema Gopalan. I am sure she will convince you 🙂 Do give it a read, https://brownleaf.org/lets-talk-gardening/
Here is one more great idea for you by our Brown Leaf member, Mr. Vivek Bapat from Pune. You can use things already available with you, like a 5 litre mineral water bottle and a few sprouted onions.
How’s that? 🙂