[permaculture] More thoughts on double digging while preparing raised garden beds. (revised post)

Tripp Tibbetts slowfoodguy at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 21 20:23:57 EST 2009

C. Louis Kervran, author of "Biological Transmutations," is another of her inspirations.  Haven't read it yet, but it's high on my priority list.  Sounds intriguing.
Thanks for sharing Emilia Hazelip with the list, Lawrence.  I'm never quite sure what you guys have passed around before I got here.  And from my exposure so far, I'd say that list would include damn near everything...
Tripp out.

The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow.
-Chinese proverb

--- On Tue, 12/22/09, Lawrence F. London, Jr. <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net> wrote:

From: Lawrence F. London, Jr. <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
Subject: [permaculture] More thoughts on double digging while preparing raised garden beds. (revised post)
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 12:58 AM

June 08, 2008

"Emilia Hazelip (1938 - February 1, 2003) was an organic Permaculture 
gardener who was born in Spain and began gardening seriously in the late 
'60s. A former Merry Prankster and pioneer of the concept of synergistic 
gardening, her farming methods were inspired by the work of Masanobu 

Where Fukuoka focused most of his attention on orchards and the 
rice/barley crop rotation, Emilia Hazelip focused on creating and 
maintaining market gardens of vegetables and herbs.

Emilia Hazelip, who introduced the concept of permaculture to France 
over a decade ago, drew on many sources as she continued to develop 
gardens. The work of Permaculturist Marc Bonfils with self-fertile 
cereal production and the microbiological research of Alan Smith and 
Elaine Ingham are frequently mentioned.

To see more videos by the maker of this film and for contact information 
on how to purchase a high quality full length version (SVHS) on DVD 
please visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/BULLEBOULO

For More Information on the Global Permaculture Movement Please Visit:


That is the way to build a raised bed though there are important details 
(the ones the devil is in) that need to be considered, many based on 
soil type, access to water, climate and lay of the land.
She is exactly right about the dimensions of the bed in the design she 
recommends except that one needs the ditch (a very narrow path) between 
the beds _to extend below grade 25% to 40% of the total bed height_ thus 
extending the actual working height of the beds considerably. You 
provide extra aeration for the part of the bed below grade that is 
exposed to the ditch between the beds. The other dimensions she suggests 
are perfect, 4 feet wide (measured approximately
across the bed exactly at existing grade level. This bed width can be 
modified according to the height of the gardener(s) so that they will be 
able to do any work needed, leaning over to reach the middle, but not 
having to put their foot on the bed to keep from falling forward, which 
would induce compaction in those places (and that is a real issue with 
your prized, hard-won, mature, permanent beds). The 20 inches between 
beds (measured at existing grade as shown in the diagram) is ideal. Of 
course you put all weeds removed from the garden into this ditch to 
conserve water, create a walking path protecting the soil underneath 
from compaction and as they decompose they provide beneficial 
microorganisms and nutrients (compost tea) to leach into the garden soil 
for added tilth and fertility, food for soil dwelling creatures and 
particulate matter for them to use in constructing their habitat; soil 
colloid and soil crumb structure are keywords in this instance.
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