[permaculture] hugelkultur - pictures!

Keith Johnson keithdj at mindspring.com
Thu Apr 7 15:16:10 EDT 2005


Paul,
Hugelkultur works great. I've been doing it for about 15 years.
On your page you say:

"Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised beds filled with rotten 
wood."

I might say 'rotting' rather than 'rotten' since even fresh green wood 
can be used. Also it is not absolutely essential that the material be 
covered with dirt. I have created wood "terraces" with any carbonaceous 
material I could get my hands on...logs, brush, etc.....and raked the 
annual deposition of leaves over the material. Here in NC, where we have 
high precip and humidity, the material breaks down much quicker than it 
would in, say, California. I grew fabulous pumpkins, for example,  in Ca 
in the 8 month dry period (no rain at all) without irrigating. I used 
everything organic I could accumulate, from logs to leaves, and laid it 
out about 2 feet deep and planted into soil pockets.

Its amazing how the rotting wood becomes like a sponge. I can pull out 
pieces that I buried two years ago and squeeze them to yield copious 
amounts of water. Now when I look at wood, green or even dry, I think 
"Water".

I tell my students that every unit of carbon incorporated into soils can 
hold 4 units of water.

Penny Livingston, of Pc Inst of N Ca, had a few brush piles littering 
her site but she didn't feel like moving or burning them, so she piled 
on straw and a light scattering of soil, planted potatoes into it, and 
harvested a couple bushels of spuds in addition to dissolving the "problem".

Here at Earthaven we have prohibited the burning of brush so the slower 
biological 'burn' is our preferred way of managing it.

You will be greatly rewarded by using this approach. Thanks for the pix.
Keith

Paul Wheaton wrote:

>I learned about hugelkultur a few weeks ago and gave it a whirl.  Took pictures too!
>
>http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/
>  
>
-- 
Keith Johnson
Permaculture Activist Magazine
PO Box 1209
Black Mountain, NC 28711
(828)669-6336

also Patterns for Abundance Design & Consulting
Culture's Edge at Earthaven Ecovillage
http://www.permacultureactivist.net
http://www.earthaven.org
http://www.bioregionalcongress.org





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