Using Waste Creatively

Few things make me happier than finding some “waste” or “junk” that I can then use to create functions in a landscape.

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My friend Rob Jones has a thriving mushroom business. He grows oyster mushrooms in plastic bags. When the substrate is spent, he needs to get rid of these 40 lb bags of chopped straw, cottonseed hulls and oyster mycelium. Well! They make great mulch, they also often fruit a few times before I unbag and distribute the excellent organic matter. The only true “waste” is the bags.

I had hoped to use a couple hundred bags in front of ┬ámy house as a sound barrier from the very noisy ATV-riding neighbors, but the plastic bags slid off of each other and would not stay stacked high enough, so I can “only” use them to mulch around tree polycultures and annual beds. It was exciting to try the sound wall though.

The whole process makes me very happy. Free food, improved soil, and repurposed waste that I can carry away from my friend’s business.

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