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Jan 31 13 10:33 PM

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This looks interesting. Pile up logs, cover with dirt , grow food.

http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

Anyone on the forum tried this method ?

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#1 [url]

Feb 4 13 11:54 AM

In part, I am doing this. Prior post:

"The photo synthesizing is slowing here in Oregon, but the saprophytizing is picking up.. Just starting to get shiitakes from 2010 innoculated Garry oak branches. Noticed that we have a lot of naturally occurring "chicken of the wood" and "turkey tail" mushroom as well. Once the wood stops "flushing" mushrooms I will bury it next to the garden to build up soil mycelium and sequester carbon."

In making a "hugelkultur" bed I would suggest covering wood with manure before soil to speed the composting, and supply nitrogen. Might I add that there is a HUGE pile of manure and straw just east of Hwy 11 mile post 39. Right around some ranch lands (probable source). I didn't think I could fit it in the carry on luggage for the flight back to Oregon. Maybe one of you on island could make use of it. Darren, how empty is the back of that Previa?
The concept of adding enough wood/soil mass (and thus water storage) to negate irrigation/fertilization is attractive to me as I'm living in a xeric climate. Also, the idea of using the shape to terra form a mini south facing slope is attractive. There is plenty of rotten wood, soil, and manure here. Adding it to the list.....

Derl

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#3 [url]

Feb 8 13 1:03 PM

I have a little project going where I will apply this hugelkultur vs. biochar as a test.  A 110 year old white oak fell on our property two years ago (sadly).  The 75' trunk left a nice south facing cup which seems like a good planting area.  It gathers extra light, water and (judging by the healthy new growth around it) soil nutrients.  I will do a scrap wood/prunings burn on that south side of it.  Rake all of the char to one portion and cover the other portion with well rotted wood.  Work in some of the neighbor's sheep manure on both portions, cover with soil and plant mammoth sunflowers (for chicken food!! ).  **No irrigation**  We'll see how each portion fairs.  The soil up their in O'okala appears similar to the heavy silt/loam that we have here.  May have some implications for you guys Buffychick.  Stay tuned......    

Derl

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#4 [url]

Feb 13 13 12:13 PM


O`okala soil is volcanic ash.

As far as huglekultur goes, I listen to Paul Wheaton's podcasts all the time. My understanding is that the hugelkulture bed is permanent, should be at least 6 feet high, and are used as terriscaping features to alter water and temperature patterns on a micro scale (farm). 

They had the expert, Sepp Holster, come to Montana last year and build a big one. They planted tons of potatoes, berries and other shrubs, and then broadcast the entire mound with mixed vegetables of all kinds. Supposed to be better every year but sounds like they plant it as soon as they build it.

Sounds a lot like a french intensive method my immigrant grandfather taught me, but on steroids.

Would love to hear peoples' experiences.

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#5 [url]

Feb 13 13 2:52 PM

The soil here feels very similar to the stuff behind Buffychick's place, although technically a long way from recent volcano ash.  Assuming that it would have similar water/nutrient holding properties.  My area will be "sans steroids" as I am endowed with shovel and wheel barrel rather than tractor and bucket.  Approximately 3' high.  Thanks for the reference to the podcasts.
 

Derl

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