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Ever hear of HUGELKULTURE?

Monday, January 07, 2013

Me neither.
But I got to see it being done first hand recently.

It's a german word and you say it "hoogle culture". It is basically raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc. As the years pass, the deep soil of your raised garden bed becomes incredibly rich and loaded with soil life. As the wood shrinks, it makes more tiny air pockets - so your hugelkultur becomes sort of self tilling. The first few years, the composting process will slightly warm your soil giving you a slightly longer growing season. The woody matter helps to keep nutrient excess from passing into the ground water - and then refeeding that to your garden plants later. Plus, by holding SO much water, hugelkultur could be part of a system for growing garden crops in the desert with no irrigation.

So here is our local hugelkulture done in our Botanical Gardens.
The beginning of the preparation.

This is called the nude stage....lol

The naked stage....I didnt make these names up...lol...its how they are referred to at their various stages of development.

Setting up the logs.

Covering them with manure and straw.

Closer look at what it looks like.

In drawn form, this is what it should look like over time.

After 1 year.

After 2 years.

After 20 years.

Once the raised garden bed is built, you don't ever till it. As the wood breaks down inside the bed, it will sorta-kinda till its insides itself. And with a really tall, really steep raised garden bed, nobody will step on it, so the soil will not become compacted.

I think its a most incredible way of disposing with yard scraps and a type of recycling in a beautiful way.

Taking some "nothing" and making a healthy working "something" is fantastic.

I'm going to take my body and do some hugelkulture on it. Fill it with healthy things that will decompose the fat and make me into something healthy and more attractive than it currently is.

I wish I had known of this before I spent so much money on a container to throw my garden refuse away. Oh well....lessons get learned at different stages of life.
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