This was an easy little project that will reap a big payoff in the spring. To start, I raked up leaves from my back yard and spread them over an empty bed. Tossed in some spent coffee grounds I've been collecting, and whatever other garden waste I had on hand:
Cover that with newspaper and soak good:
Cover that with steer manure (I actually need to buy a second bag since what I have here isn't quite enough):
Let this break down over the winter and (hopefully) get chomped on by worms and other good microbials. In the spring I'll lightly turn it into the soil underneath and be ready to go.
The project only took about an hour, and that included raking the leaves. As soon as I can collect more leaves (I'm eyeing a neighbor's yard) I'll do the same to the rest of my beds.
For someone like me who loves fall, wet leaves, the crisp air, the smell of fresh dirt and a little morning exercise, this is an awesome project!