our gardens

woodchips make for a happy day

A couple of weeks ago, Ryan and I woke up and started the day as usual. He jumped in the shower, I started in on breakfast and coffee, and Kearney cried at the door. When I opened the door to let him out, I was startled to see a man standing outside the screened-in porch. Not something I expected at 7 A.M.

As I halfway hid behind the front door, the man in an orange vest explained he was with an Atlanta tree cutting company. Apparently, they come every 3 years to trim around the power lines. “Remember me?” he asked. I replied and let him know that we had actually moved in not too long ago, so unfortunately I did not remember him. He continued to describe more of what they would be doing and then asked again if I remembered him again. I smiled and after a brief awkward moment he said, “ah, I remember you!”

When Ryan got wind of what was going on outside, he was thrilled. With so much shade around the gardens, having these guys trim the trees meant it was something we could scratch off our to-do list. Even better than that, this meant free woodchips! This was turning into a Christmas morning of sorts.

On his way to work, Ryan spoke with the man who had knocked on the door to ask him if he would dump the woodchips in our yard when they were done. (Something we had been long awaiting.) After we moved in, we registered with every tree company that we could find to receive free woodchips, but we never got a delivery.

The men were great. They trimmed back brush that was starting to creep in on our mini hugelkultur bed (where the potato towers are located), and carefully trimmed the tree limbs above the garden bed. (That is more than I can say for the pest control kid who stepped in our garden every time he came.) They even complimented our produce (total sweethearts)!

Look at how much the potatoes have grown since then… Is it the extra sunlight exposure or great soil? I suspect a little of both. Either way we’re happy.


I think it’s time we staked those bad boys.

Hours had gone by when I got another knock at the door. He needed me to unlock the double gates so they could drive their truck into the backyard. While I fumbled with keys, he told me about my husband asking for woodchips and how we needed “LOTS.” We laughed and he asked again if I remembered him… still no clue.


Around noon, we spoke again. He said that he didn’t have any chips to unload, but at the end of the day he would bring them ALL here. I thanked him over and over and immediately took off to update Ryan.

Let there be light!


The day came and went, and there were no chips… a week went by and then another. We started to question what might have happened. What in the world do you have to do to get some free woodchips around this town?

Well, Friday I got another knock at the door. The man said his friend mentioned that we needed woodchips here. I excitedly exclaimed, “yes, thank you!” He was taken back by my excitement, no doubt. He told me he worked this area often and would keep them coming. We gave each other a thumbs up, and I immediately took off to update Ryan. Finally, let the chips rain down! (If this was only Vegas.) I guess it’s all about who you know (and remember!).

Compost pile 4 looks so small in comparison.


We are a couple of giddy dorks over this mess. It made for a great kick-off to the weekend, and we didn’t waste any time diving in. We shared some of our achievements on our social media  here and here. Thanks to Ryan’s folks we didn’t have to use a tarp to transport leaves and mulch. They brought us a wheelbarrow on their last visit- just in time for mulching madness.

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