My neighbour has about 120m3 of pine chip delivered each year as a base to raise his calves. At the end of the season it gets dumped. I am taking some of it for mulch around my avocados. As I put it down I notice that it has already started to break down, and it is full of fungus. Just beautiful. I imagine the calf shit and urine has something to do with it. It seems to me that I have, as Bill Mollison calls it, an opportunistic resource. How best to use it? My neighbour reckons that it breaks down into a soil looking consistency over another year. I could stockpile it to use next year as another layer of mulch on the avocados. I imagine it would continue to break down in the pile. I imagine that the result will be good to grow trees in. After all, what is a forest floor if not rotten trees? How acidic might it be? Would it be good to grow vegetables in? What amendments might I add after it has broken down? What about before? How would the fungus react to lime being added up front? I have an area that I would love to level out. If I built a retaining wall and filled it with this chip and let it break down, would I be able to grow veges in that? It could be 900mm deep at its deepest. Could I grow in it before it completely breaks down by putting a layer of soil or compost on top to start. There is a German word for this kind of compost pile - can anyone remind me? As well as the calf shit and urine, I would probably sprinkle some other N source throughout to help with the breakdown. (Urea seems to be the cheapest.) Although, when it is all broken down and the N is released from the dying organisms, will I have too much? I once met a guy whose brother grew trees and covered his nursery with pine sawdust. When the brother left home the guy planted an entire subtropical orchard in the resulting litter. Beautiful orchard. I am preparing a subtropical orchard area this autumn. Getting the support trees in first. Lots of legumes. I thought I might put down a nice deep layer of this chip to provide litter in the future. I am hoping that the legumes will provide even more N to help the decomposition along. How do legumes grow in a deep woody mulch. I know that Masanobu Fukuoka wrote that burying a tree was a great source of nutrients for the soil. And a great way of storing moisture. A lot of writers warn of burying sawdust and woodchips (I suppose a tree might be different). This gives me hope that I might be on the right track trying to use this stuff to build soil (on top of course). Does anyone have experience with wood chips in general (pine in particular) that might be able to provide me with some more direction. Thanks.