Natural Living Des Moines


Free Mulch and one step further into self-sufficiency on our Urban Homestead. by sarahtar
November 7, 2009, 3:57 pm
Filed under: Home and Garden, Urban Homesteading, Waste

Today, we took our new Yard Chipper out of its box and put it to work. (And I broke it all in one day.)

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/20343339@N00/4094435620/&#8221; title=”Chipper by sarahtar, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2757/4094435620_1468022fa6.jpg&#8221; width=”332″ height=”500″ alt=”Chipper” /></a>

Um, can you say LOVE?

Here at our little Urban Homestead, we have tons of trees. They are beautiful and also a pain in the butt. One of the reasons they’re a pain in the butt is that they regularly drop large branches. Usually during storms, but sometimes just for kicks. When I say large branches, I mean that I have friends who have trees that are smaller than these branches.

These branches accumulate in the yard. We haul them into a pile. And then, after a year, we have a huge pile. In the city, we can’t burn our pile. So, if we need to have tree service, we pay the tree service people to haul it away. This is expensive, but we’ve done it. Otherwise, we could chop the branches up into the 3 foot lengths required for city pickup, and pay the city to pick it up. Expensive and labor-intensive.

Add to this nonsense the fact that we have a high need for mulch around here. Mulch is also expensive.

Enter the Yard Chipper. Yeah, it was like $150. Yeah, that’s kind of a lot. But, um, hello? FREE MULCH! Just in today’s work, in which I nearly obliterated our backyard brush pile, it’s easily paid for itself in terms of money saved in haulaway charges, and money saved in purchasing mulch.

Even more, it’s another step towards being self-sufficient. We have the source for all the mulch we could possibly need or want right here in our yard. Why buy it from the store?

In case you’re wondering, our chipper is a Yard Machines electric model. Most of our yard equipment is electric. It will handle branches up to 1.25 inches in diameter, though it’s more realistic to say that it’ll handle straight branches 1.25 inches. Anything bigger, we cut up with our chainsaw (rechargeable cordless electric Ryobi) and add to the woodpile for use in our outdoor fireplace. Or our indoor one if we ever get the chimney fixed.


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