Collect slash and mulch for compost

LETTER

I agree with those who want the forestry industry to step up and stop putting their costs of doing business back on the ratepayers.

I have a bit of a different approach that I think should be used. Hopefully it will help with more than one problem.

In Europe they have machines that work with the harvesters and bundle up the slash as they go, enabling it to be transported. This then could be mulched up to, say, six inches diameter and composted. The larger logs and branches can then be buried under the ground that veges are grown on to act as a moisture wick; this is a permaculture practice known as “hugelcultur”.

This would in turn provide a stable growing season for the vege growers and save the need to recharge our aquifer. And by applying the compost to the crops at appropriate times, would fertilise, conserve moisture and suppress weed growth — cutting the use of polluting chemicals.

I can hear the “but, oh the cost” cries already. But look at the cost of cleaning up.

Now, to help out Bob Hughes, the methane from the composting could be used as a fuel for powering at least part of the process, thereby preventing at least one greenhouse gas emission.

We would end up with no slash destroying infrastructure and property, better nutrition from the vege, and avoid the risk of polluting the aquifer.

We all have to collectively change the way things are done and utilise every part of the things we grow, to be more sustainable. Taking shortcuts — like haphazard irrigation, leaving slash in the forests, and overuse of chemical fertilisers and weed killer — is just not working.

P.J. Roberts

I agree with those who want the forestry industry to step up and stop putting their costs of doing business back on the ratepayers.

I have a bit of a different approach that I think should be used. Hopefully it will help with more than one problem.

In Europe they have machines that work with the harvesters and bundle up the slash as they go, enabling it to be transported. This then could be mulched up to, say, six inches diameter and composted. The larger logs and branches can then be buried under the ground that veges are grown on to act as a moisture wick; this is a permaculture practice known as “hugelcultur”.

This would in turn provide a stable growing season for the vege growers and save the need to recharge our aquifer. And by applying the compost to the crops at appropriate times, would fertilise, conserve moisture and suppress weed growth — cutting the use of polluting chemicals.

I can hear the “but, oh the cost” cries already. But look at the cost of cleaning up.

Now, to help out Bob Hughes, the methane from the composting could be used as a fuel for powering at least part of the process, thereby preventing at least one greenhouse gas emission.

We would end up with no slash destroying infrastructure and property, better nutrition from the vege, and avoid the risk of polluting the aquifer.

We all have to collectively change the way things are done and utilise every part of the things we grow, to be more sustainable. Taking shortcuts — like haphazard irrigation, leaving slash in the forests, and overuse of chemical fertilisers and weed killer — is just not working.

P.J. Roberts

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