by Catherine Haug, July 31, 2011
Thanks to David Brown for telling me about this intriguing idea: ‘Hugelkulture.’ From Permaculture Articles by Paul Wheaton, on Hugelkultur:
Hugelkultur [a German word] is nothing more than making raised beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc. As the years pass, the deep soil of your bed becomes incredibly rich and loaded with soil life. As the wood shrinks, it makes more tiny air pockets – so your hugelkultur becomes sort of self tilling. The first few years, the composting process will slightly warm your soil giving you a slightly longer growing season. The woody matter helps to keep nutrient excess from passing into the ground water – and then refeeding that to your garden plants later. Plus, by holding SO much water, hugelkultur could be part of a system for growing crops in the desert with no irrigation.
Something to consider as our global climate changes and the Flathead becomes more arid.
See also Paul’s home page to check out some of his other interesting articles: Permaculture Articles by Paul Wheaton (www.RichSoil.com).