Hi everyone! Really happy to have joined this forum - we are a small group of people who recently moved from a big city to a mountainous village (in Eastern Serbia) to try to live happier, healthier lives. We are interested in all things permaculture, but are complete beginners, and we have been finding some great information on this forum. One main issue that's been troubling us - last fall we've made a raised bed, keyhole garden around an existing apple tree. We used a cardboard layer, watered well, brought tons of oak leaves from the forest above our house, spread around some organic kitchen scraps and covered it with a layer of straw. We left it there throughout the winter, adding kitchen scraps under the straw sporadically, hoping it would all decompose.... But when we moved aside the straw last week, the layer of leaves is kinda the same as it was...only a little wetter. they softened and i spotted a random worm, but it's nowhere near what we pictured would happen! So, the question is - what went wrong, and more importantly, what can we do now? the garden was designed to house tomatoes, basil, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, and some other herbs. can we add some regular yard soil under the straw layer? or under the leafy layer? we have some oak forest topsoil above our house that we could add also? old sheep poo? or should we let it sit until next year? we are making some fresh raised beds in a different area of the yard (which is a whole other set of questions ), so maybe that would have to do... any help/advice on how to proceed will be much appreciated!