How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Hugelkultur In Action!

I’ve written about Hugelkultur concepts before. It’s basically taking a pile of wood and covering it with dirt. Longer term you end up with beds full of great organic materials … rich, healthy, fertile soil. The wood also soaks up water like a sponge, which helps with the whole irrigation thing.

I heard about Hugelkultur from Paul Wheaton via the Survival Podcast. For more details on the concepts, check out this page on Paul’s website.

In any case, we decided to build some new raised beds using these concepts. Mom wanted beds that were fairly high, because of her back and knees. So we built her some two foot beds.

Instead of pure wood, we built a wooden frame and used metal paneling as the retaining walls. Here’s a few pictures of them before assembly:

We took several of the wall sections and assembled them into two long beds, roughly 4 feet wide by 24 feet long. (I think … they might be 32 feet long).

Enter the Hugelkultur! If there’s one thing we have a ton of, it’s wood. So we collected piles of logs, many of them half rotten. Mostly pine and fir, with a bit of random other types of wood thrown in … whatever we could find!

We then took those logs and put in a good solid layer of logs and wood debris in the bottom of the beds. It ended up looking something like this:

Finally, we filled it in with some good topsoil from another spot on the property. We filled in the gaps as best we could, and then topped it off with some good compost. I don’t have a shot of the finished bed right now, but here’s a picture of it during the filling process.

I’m anxious to see how it pans out. It’s pretty clear we’ll have to top off the beds every year, but it should be interesting!

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3 Responses to Hugelkultur In Action!

  1. I am wildly excited about what you are doing here. Please keep sending pictures as the gardens progress.

  2. This is VERY interesting !
    Back in the 80’s, while doing the planning work for Spanish Hills Golf Course, Camarillo CA, my husband was arrested and jailed for operating a ‘toxic’ waste dump’ – a felony charge. The problem? The farmer that had previously owned the property, had plced dead lemon trees in a trench and covered them with soil- hugelkultur!
    The county contended that methane gas was eminating from the site. The result, all of the trees had to be unearthed and ground into mulch and used above ground.
    You better be careful Rudy, don’t let anyone near those raised beds with a lit cig or other type of open flame!:)

  3. What a great way to get rid of all the dead trees limbs we have!

    Thank you for all your posts, too. You give us lot of good ideas that we can really use that are practicle for us.
    So glad I found your blog – keep up the good work!