Another Flash Mob Job: We sheet mulch another neighbor’s yard

But first, here’s one pic from last Wednesday’s Community Dinner. Mike, the man on the left, is a new Green Acres Village friend who has so far gifted us with 60 bags of leaves, and says there’s more to come. We are using leaves as final winter cover for our gardens.

Note puppy Shadow eyeing little Oliver, his best bet for food scraps.


Oliver’s parents, Logan (bottom left) and Carissa (bottom right) both participated in our first two flash mob jobs, with one of them being to sheet mulch their front yard just before Thanksgiving.

Rebecca sent out the call for this week’s flash mob job. Who could come, and when? Four of us responded, but then one, Dan, had to drop out the night before due to a sudden need to travel south to his hometown of Booneville. So that’s just three. Hmmm. Could we do it? Rebecca sounded a bit discouraged. I went into my cosmic cheerleader mode. “Well, let’s just the three of us do what we can. Not every occasion has to be a quickly moving flash mob job. The essence of resiliency is adaptability!”

So we went ahead. And, guess what? Aaron, who had been here overnight, decided to pitch in. Ah! Four! No problem. We should be done in an hour.

And yes, that’s almost exactly what it took, once again, one hour from start to finish, with the first 15 minutes spent peeling tape off the cardboard . . . Grrrr. . . I argued against taking the time to do that, but Rebecca prevailed. Glad she did. Now we won’t be picking up tape every time we work in this garden.

And after, what a mess! Which we then dutifully picked up.


The owners of this house both work, so they weren’t with us Friday morning, but they had shown us where they wanted the new garden, to be just where the garden was years ago. They bought the place recently, and asked if we wanted to permaculture their back yard. YES!

Their house sits directly across the street from our DeKist house, which held Wednesday night’s dinner; we also have another house right next to it, facing Overhill. The roof solar supplies both our houses. Hard to see here, but notice the new greenhouse out of the old garage behind the big tree which, leafless in winter, will not block the sun’s warmth on seedlings inside which we will start in January.


Here we go. The cardboard is down. Now for the horse manure, which Rebecca gets free from a horse farm a few miles outside town. Aaron begins the process.


Followed by Leah (left) and Rebecca.


They begin to dump the manure, and I rake it to a depth of about three inches.



Meanwhile, Leah has placed some of Mike’s leaf bags strategically around the perimeter.


Miraculously, we had just the right amount of cardboard and leaves, and, almost enough manure (only need about two square feet more). Then, the leaves. YES!

Mission accomplished!


Where’s Aaron? I ask, wanting him in the leaves photo too. Leah: “Oh, he had to go sell his baby goats.”

Yep, four people working hard and having fun, laughing, eating bits of dark chocolate for energy. One hour later, DONE!


4 comments on “Another Flash Mob Job: We sheet mulch another neighbor’s yard”

  1. Pingback: Green Acres Village and Urban Farm News: Another flash mob job . . . - ExopermacultureExopermaculture

  2. Christopher Crockett

    have to be a bit careful with HorseShit –it’s very “hot” and is best when diluted to some extent with a certain amount of good topsoil.

    as opposed to, say, pure BullShit, which can be put directly into a White House.

    but all experienced gardeners know that.

    and my green thumb has atrophied from lack of use.


      • Christopher Crockett

        it’s just too steep a learning curve for me, AK.

        the idea of putting a layer of horseshit on top of a layer of [toxic, btw] cardboard, then covering the whole with a layer of leaves is quite beyond my ability to kin.

        about alls i knows about the subject is what i read on some of The Innernets

        “Fresh manure should not be used on plants to prevent the possibility of burning their roots. However, well-aged manure, or that which has been allowed to dry over winter, can be worked into the soil without the worry of burning.”

        i’m so dumb that i would have opted for composting before spreading (to kill the grass seeds) –then covering with a thick layer of hay (after the application of a few score “night crawlers”) for a nice winter’s rest, with water seeping through the hay and a distinct absence of toxic cardboard.

        but, in a situation like yours, Brute Labor is much more valuable than shear Know-It-All ness.

        if, otOh, you need to keep a sprig of basil going in a glass of wa-wa for a few daze, then i’m your Man.

        at least i *used* to have that skill, in years past.


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