A pile of burning leaves

Controlled brush fire

I opened the backdoor as I do every morning and this is what I saw:

"What I first see when I open the house's backdoor" retirednoway

What I first see when I open the house's backdoor

"Leaves are burned every few weeks" retirednoway

Leaves are burned every few weeks

The above pile of burning leaves was hidden behind the water tank. The ghost of its smoke can be spotted in the center of the first photo.

"A small brush fire of leaves" retirednoway

A small brush fire of leaves

Food for thought

Leaves should be composted and not burned. Dead plant matter contains valuable nutrients that the plant, when it was still alive, extracted from the soil.

"Fires release valuable carbon back into the atmosphere" retirednoway

Fires release valuable carbon back into the atmosphere

Those nutrients will eventually make their way back to the earth and we humans have an effect on the process. We might as well affect it in a way to make it more productive.

Composting recycles the nutrients quicker. Burning it releases the nutrients into the atmosphere. From there it will fall back to earth in some form of precipitation (rain, snow). Some of that precipitation will fall in the seas where the land’s nutrients will be mixed into the sea’s. If we measure productivity by the time it takes to bring the nutrients back to being available to us again, then clearly, burning is the less efficient route. We want to make those nutrients available to us faster so we should return it more directly–by burying the dead plant matter in the soil.


2 responses to “A pile of burning leaves

  1. Kudos! You have such an informative website. I’m glad serendipity was at work today, and found it.

    In one of your olders posts, you mis-translated purok as “site”. More accurately, it is the Filipino term for zone. Puroks are territorial subdivisions of the barangay. Within these zones, there could be zero or more sitios.


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