I raked up my leaves weeks ago. I made one big pile, let the boys jump in it for a bit and then I distributed the pile under the new fruit trees in my yard. I guess the way I look at things is that trees drop leaves for a reason. The leaves compost and make good soil, so why don't I make piles under my trees to improve the soil. It seems a lot like how mother nature would do it.
So I haven't put any leaves in bags or anything. It is now the time when neighbors are putting their leaves at the street to get picked up. So I asked my neighbor if I could have his leaves. He thought it was a little weird, but we've got chickens in the backyard and giant rain barrels collecting rain on the sides of our house. He's used to weird.
The neighbor even loaned me a giant drop-cloth to pile the leaves on and drag them to my house. It worked great. I had a huge pile of leaves over to my back yard in 4 trips. As I was dragging piles of leaves across the street, I got two comments. One was from a lady that asked, "What are you doing with the leaves?" I responded that I would use them as compost. She was OK with that and said that if I wanted to clean up any more leaves and haul them away she had some in her yard that I could have. As much as I like the idea of using the leaves, I declined her offer.
The second comment that I got was from a teenaged kid. He asked, "Are you keepin' them?" I answered, "yes". He continued, "For what?" I said that I would let them rot into dirt and plant a vegetable garden in my yard. His final response, I think meant that he was OK with the idea, but the nouveau slang was beyond my understanding.
It strikes me as peculiar that people don't understand that we would keep the leaves that fall from the trees. It's like the leaves are nothing but a burden. As if the tree spends lots of energy through the spring and summer just to produce leaves to drop and annoy the person who has to clean them. How do people not think of why the leaves would be dropped. How do we not think of an alternative short of cramming them into plastic bags and sending them to the dump?
I'm excited to be using mother nature to prepare my garden for next year. I have a long ways to go and will need all the help I can get. I might as well find help with lots of experience and inexpensive materials.