~~Here's a bit of a bunny trail that has me chomping at the bit. Do you all remember the dire warnings about using wood chips or other high carbon mulches near your garden, the fear being that the break down process would rob all of the nitrogen out of your soil? Well, I've long thought that my experience regarding wood and sawdust does not support the nay-sayers. I've dabbled with wood products, and always been sure to add a bit of nitrogen kick just to err on the side of caution. I've not seen much evidence of nitrogen robbing going on, quite the opposite. where ever the soil is covered with any kind of mulch, the plant growth around it is always lush and robust. So, now, there are entire books written that say nitrogen robbing is not a concern. "Back to Eden" and "Hugelkulture" are 2 variations on the same theme, just in different size models: Wood mulch interfacing with the soil, with addition of compost, soil, or a high nitrogen product to cap things off. Of course, chickens could play a huge role here, providing a quick, high quality, dense nutrient compost made of poo, leaves, and lawn clippings. If you want some good mind bending education, google Back to Eden, and view the film that pops up. This guy has some good stuff going on, he uses chickens to help with the process, and his gardening concepts continually produce results in the realm of "all the experts say it can't be done, so he proves them wrong... over and over again." And this guy does it, in spite of an obvious physical disability that quite severely limits his mobility. I can't wait to get into the soil, and see what kind of results I can replicate.