Many tree companies are happy to drop off fresh wood chips for free when they are in your area. This is the remainder of our second big truck load. We used them for walkways between planting rows. They keep moisture in the ground and a thick layer can keep down the weeds.
This pile is the start of our compost pile. It is already a bit warm in the center, so the material is starting to break down. We will add some green material (grass clippings, weeds, etc), and some animal manure and then turn it (we will pick it up and move it to make a pile a few feet over with the tractor bucket) and we will do this a few times over the summer and then we will use this 'black gold' next year to enrich the beds where we will plant. Dog is posing so you can see the size of the pile (or maybe she just likes being in my pictures).