In the past few years we have had flooded gardens dozens of times. The most recent rain totaled 13″ over two and a half days, making for the third double digit rain event this year. But we have also had a few 3″ to 6″ rains that can do their share of damage as well. We have lots of dead wood dating back to the drought of 2011 and we are using that to build hugelkultur mounds in the garden. Combining these mounds with more swales to hold and move the water, will help us work better with our little ecosystem.
This combination of sticks, soil, hay and yes even dirty paper egg cartons, will turn into rich organic matter. Then we can raise a few chickens on and around the mounds, continue to add compost and soon we will be selling produce from our new and improved gardens.
So do not throw away your leaves, dead wood, grass clippings and newspapers–put them to use building a permaculture garden, rich in organic matter. Or you can drop them off at the farm.