• helpinghensfarmri

Cemetery Cleanup = Carbon Influx


In preparation for our town's annual Memorial Day parade, our Cub Scout pack cleans up a historic cemetery that is along the parade path.


An adult or two weed-wack and mow the area, and the Cubs pick up and remove sticks, remove trash, then rake up the grass clippings, weeds, and leaves and bag them up.


The picture above is the "after" picture...after about 90 minutes of mowing/weed wacking followed by another 90 minutes of a great showing of Cub Scouts ages 5-10 raking and bagging. The scouts did a nice job, and were working hard and staying on task impressively. I look forward to pointing out how nice the cemetery looks to them when we march past on Memorial Day.


We do the cleanup every year, but it's amazing how much it needs it after 12 short months. Long grass, ferns, woody stems, and lots of pine needles and sticks littered the grounds.


Here is a picture of part way through the mowing process. You can see there are plenty of leaves along with grass, ferns, and shrubs.

In total, we ended up with slightly more than 20 lawn and leaf bags worth of debris. I'd say it was 90% browns with about 10% greens.


This great material didn't go to waste, as it came home and served as a nice carbon boost to the chicken run. About half went into the haybale composters to give them an influx of carbon to help offset the many food scraps that get added to the pile every week.


The rest got spread around a few areas in the run to add a nice layer for the chickens to scratch through and help absorb any manure, food scraps, and weeds I throw in the run.


The chickens quickly went to work flattening out the piles I dumped out for them, picking out bits of green and the occasional insect. At a time of year when fall leaves are a bit harder to come by (although I do find a few bagged on the side of the road now and then), this is a nice addition to the chicken run compost system.


Even the empty lawn and leaf bags went into the system. I threw them into the empty pallet composter. They'll make a nice base layer for when we start adding material to that composter.


So, helping some scouts do some community service for their community, a nice workout (I was the guy pushing the mower), and a nice influx of carbon for the composter. Not a bad Monday afternoon/evening.

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