“hugelkultur raised garden beds in a nutshell:
- grow a typical garden without irrigation or fertilization
- has been demonstrated to work in deserts as well as backyards
- use up rotting wood, twigs, branches and even whole trees that would otherwise go to the dump or be burned
- it is pretty much nothing more than buried wood
- can be flush with the ground, although raised garden beds are typically better
- can start small, and be added to later
- can always be small – although bigger is better
- You can save the world from global warming by doing carbon sequestration in your own back yard!
- perfect for places that have had trees blown over by storms
- can help end world hunger
- give a gift to your future self”
We were very inspired to try this style of raised garden beds, as discussed on permies.com, and also talked about in Sepp Holzer’s book “Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture”. We have been homesteading for about a year now on our 5 acres in the Missouri Ozarks. We live on steep sloping land, and luckily a great deal of it is facing South. We are making terraces and hugelkultur beds to stop soil erosion, catch rainwater, and make the most of natural irrigation potentials.
Here are images of our resources of organic material we use to cover the logs and branches we build into hugelkultur beds. It’s hard work to load the trailer up with these, but so satisfying when we see the end product of our creative energy.
The first set of 10 images shows our first hugelkultur bed which we began creating in May of 2013, then some showing the bed bursting with tomatoes, then the beginning of our hugelkultur greywater system coming from our travel trailer home we began building July and August of 2013. (greywater=dishwater and urine only). These we built before we got our trailer to bring in the woodchips and sawdust, so everything in these beds was collected and created here on the land. We have a small wood chipper that we used to use a lot, but now since we have the trailer we just get the woodchips from town. Later this season we will give each bed in this greywater system a good thick layer of sawdust from the pile we now have access to.
Next we have what I call the “halfmoon hugelkultur bed”, this was also built before we had the utility trailer to bring in wood chips or sawdust, so all organic material save the straw and some potting soil we bought to use for planting seeds and seedlings, was collected on the land… but later this season we will put a good layer of sawdust on this bed.
And here are some images of our triangle terrace, which were planted with raspberries last fall… hoping they like that bed! We plan to put a good thick layer of sawdust on these beds soon too.
Here are some images of the small hugel bed we made along our “barefoot path”. We covered the wood with potting soil we bought from walmart, as soil is scarce in these parts. We are also doing a lot of composting and making soil, but that takes time, so till then we do what we have to to be able to grow.
Below are some images of our pond we are still in the process of digging out, we put a hugelkultur bed around it as we want to plant shrubs and small trees around it. We started digging out the pond and building up it’s walls early Spring of 2013.
Below are pictures of the hugelkultur beds around our driveway…
Then just across the driveway, that is U shaped, we have what we call the “Island”. Here we also wanted to save our driveway, and also make the most of the rainwater, so we built these to beautify the property, we plan to plant lots of flowers. We have clover sprouting all over this stuff today.
Next we have the hugelkultur beds we are building out on the slope we cleared this late winter/early spring (2014). These are built just east of where we are settled in the first clearing. We are using the brush and trees that we felled to clear out for plenty of sun on this south facing slope, as the material for the hugelkultur beds. We are still processing the brush and logs from the clearing, building beds, and planning to cover them all with woodchips and sawdust. These beds we expect to begin using for crops in 2015.
More pictures to come as I sort through the images… we have many more hugelkultur beds. I can’t wait to see how all our new ones do this year 🙂