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Share the Wealth with Rake and Take

Fall is offi­cially in the air. Cooler breezes, frost on the roofs, and leaves. So many bright col­ored, beau­ti­ful leaves that crunch under foot (Why do leaves change color?). In honor of this time of year the Howard County Mas­ter Gar­den­ers kindly reminded me of a great pro­gram they pro­vide to res­i­dents and it only made sense to share it on our blog.

The Rake and Take Pro­gram does for leaves what Freecy­cle and CraigsList does for all that other stuff in your garage. The Mas­ter Gar­den­ers pair up rak­ers (those peo­ple who have leaves they don’t want or need) with tak­ers (those who can use the leaves for com­post and mulch). Bril­liant, isn’t it?

So you have an abun­dance of leaves, do you? You are a Raker — all you need to do is con­tact the Mas­ter Gar­den­ers and reg­is­ter for the pro­gram and bag up your leaves. They’ll find you a match with a Taker and the Taker will appear to pick up the bagged leaves from your curb. The Mas­ter Gar­den­ers also main­tain sev­eral com­post demon­stra­tion sites and may oth­er­wise col­lect the leaves for use at these sites. This pro­gram is espe­cially nice for those of you who aren’t eli­gi­ble for the County pro­vided curb-side yard­waste pickup.

Or per­haps you are in need of some leaves to amend your com­post pile or mulch? All you do is con­tact the Rake and Take Pro­gram and head off to pick up the glo­ri­ous gold amend­ment from your matched provider, the Raker.
Not too many leaves? Then we rec­om­mend leav­ing them to break down and add nutri­ents to the soil around plants or pick them up and start your own com­post pile at home.

Howard County Mas­ter Gar­dener Rake and Take Program

Howard County Curb-side Yard­waste pick up

More options for your yard, includ­ing com­post­ing info: http://livegreenhoward.com/land/gardening-landscaping/

~Lind­say DeMarzo
OES staff
Octo­ber 2012

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