I noticed a shoutout on the Norwich list this morning to irrepressible doer of good Jay Van Arman from Neal Rich of the highway department, thanking him for donating a summer supply of free wood chips to be found near the sand pile at the Transfer Station.
My colleague Rob Gurwitt headed out in the rain to take a photo of the pile (that's another shoutout right there), and the evidence he came back with suggests there are still wood chips to be had, awaiting a new future around town.
Which begs the question, what can you do with Jay's donated wood chips? A lot.
I went to the Internet, where everything is true, and found two sources I decided to trust: the Mother Nature Network and Mother Earth News. (Because if you can't trust your Moms ...)
Mother Nature News listed seven uses.
1) Mulch the garden. (Here's where Mother Earth News weighed in: In the garden, wood chips are best thought of as a long-term enrichment strategy with a negative short-term result, unless properly managed with nitrogen and patience.)
2) Compost material. "Add them to your compost as a carbon or 'brown' layer."
3) Fuel. Wood chips are wood. Really, no explanation needed here, right?
4) Walkways. "Another classic use."
5) Decor. Sure. I mean, making a picture frame from wood chips might take time, but sure.
6) Play area surfaces. Perfect for a town that's all about its children.
7) Temporary erosion control. This might be helpful if it were raining outside today, which ... checking ... it is.