My Permablitz experience continued. I was interested to see the hugelkultur.
Long term blog readers may recall that I built one in my own garden last May – you can refer to the blog post story here – so I was especially curious to see another.
The first job was to remove plants which would be used in the food forest, and then to clear the weeds.
One home owner explained that a great number of materials had been used in the layers beneath the soil, including logs of wood (if I remember correctly), and she looked forward to ‘opening up’ the mound to see what remained. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see this ‘opening’ but I understand most had decayed and there wasn’t a great deal to see.
Over the smoothed mound, soaked cardboard sheets were laid, before barrow loads of wood mulch were spread in a thick layer.
It seems to me that a hugelkultur can have many benefits. As a mound it can act to halt the path of water downhill and become a soak for same. In a small area, because of its raised nature, more surface area exists and with a judicious selection, perhaps more plants can be grown. On the decaying organic material within, worms and other earth workers have much to feast upon. In addition, the roots of plants are able to find an assortment of nutrients to help them thrive.
The only downside which I found with my hugelkultur is that because I didn’t make a walking/stepping path on it, I found reaching into the centre to harvest or prune plants impossible without upsetting other plants. In future I will either make a smaller hugelkultur or set a path to avoid plants.
A Permaculture news site gives instructions and more information if you are interested in building your own hugelkultur.
Back to the Permablitz!
During the day I wandered through some of the garden which we were not working on. General raised beds contained a mixture of healthy vegetables. The diversity was impressive.
I loved the long chicken run – and the chooks loved some of the snails which I found while digging strawberry plants from a large patch. Look how healthy those plants are! Imagine how healthy those snails were and why the chooks came running!