I'm always loading up my Dad's truck with woody debris. But not to get rid of it. No, I'm bringing it all about to my wild homestead. Adding woody debris to your land may be one of the best things you can do.
Here is why.
Creating Habitat of Wildlife and Fungi
Woody debris provides very important habitat for wildlife. If your land or food forest or even garden is lacking in woody debris I suggest adding some.
I installed snags in my garden (dead logs stuck in the ground like a post) that are always being used by birds as perches. I have even seen wood peckers on them.
Logs and piles made out of large branches also create great habitat. I often find garter snakes and other predatory critters such as centipedes hanging out under these. By giving them habitat they in turn help keep my pests under control.
Snags and logs on the ground also provide habitat for beneficial fungi. These fungi can benefit the soil and your plants and sometimes they even provide benefits for you!
For example, I have a ton of turkey tail mushrooms growing on several logs I brought to my wild homestead. Studies have shown this mushroom is great for giving your immune system a boost. I will sometimes pick some when I'm walking around my homestead and chew on it if I'm feeling a bit down.
Nice, easy and safe preventative medicine. Both for the land and for you!
Giving Your Plants Shelter
Logs and stumps placed on the exposed side of your plants can also create nice cool micro-climates. All my fruit trees get logs placed on the south side to help shade the soil at their base and keep their roots cool and moist in the summer heat.
Logs and stumps can also deflect some of the wind blowing along the ground and even deflect cold air around your plants.
I also place smaller logs in my garden to shelter new seedlings from the direct rays of the sun.
With the proper setup you can create some nice micro-climates around your plants using logs and stumps. And of course these will also result in more habitat.
If you go out into a healthy forest there will be woody debris all over. Large logs and snags are critical components of any forest and I highly recommend mimicking this setup on your own wild homestead.
Of course there are even more uses for woody debris (such as building hugelkultur beds) which is why I can't get enough of it on my wild homestead. Check out this blog post to learn more:
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