Permaculture Literacy – HHA

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2 Comments

  • Tiffani Beckman-McNeil says:

    Love the idea of leaving dead leaves, plant, etc out all winter for the beneficial insects. However, we live in a fire-prone area. Can you speak about how to do this in fire-prone areas, safely? Once it starts raining, it’s fine, but what about those long dry still warm months of Sept and Oct when fire risk is high? it’s Nov 13th and we still haven’t had a good rain yet 🙁

    Reply
    • Bret James says:

      Good question Tiffani!

      We are in an area that is pretty much on fire all summer and into winter even, so I hear your concern.

      The question is about context: where is the litter and how will it create hazard?

      So, if we are talking about leaf litter within 75′ of the home in a very dry climate, it might be a different story. Maybe it does need to be removed in those instances and compost in a pile where it can be utilized.

      If you are talking leaves in a moist / irrigated garden area, then maybe that is different.

      So, I tend to clear leaf litter around our yurt, but ignore it beyond the 75′ permitter.

      In the larger picture this becomes an interesting question – for example imagine clearing the leaf litter on 30 acres.

      In the immediate, the landscape would be less fire prone, because the easy to ignite dry leaves are gone.

      But long term, without that litter the soils become increasingly dry, lacking nutrients and soil life, weakening the shrubs and tress around making the whole region even more prone to fire. We begin to turn landscapes into desert.

      The key is to allow a landscape to burn, but not let it get into the trees and crowns, in fact the top layers should burn because it reduces disease and spreads nutrients.

      I talk more about this in module 7.8 so check that out!

      Again, its about context!

      Reply

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