Farmhand Will Burke mentioned building a garden bed from decayed logs. I really was intrigued, but nothing more was discussed. I was watching a couple of permaculture videos and someone said a word, it was not clear “hubiculture.” Hum! I searched and searched but nothing came up. I was on a mission to learn more so I google searched “planting techniques” and came across an informative website. There it was, HUGELKULTUR. I was blown away, I wanted to try this permaculture planting technique. Will was ready to go and knew how to layer the materials: rotten logs, horse manure, branches, hay, and compost. We had all the materials on site. Because the gopher wire (aviary wire) was being replaced throughout the garden, I did purchase heavy duty hardware fabric to keep out the gophers.
Step 1: Digging down about 1 foot and laying down the hardware cloth. Bottom layer, rotten logs. Fortunately, we had a dead dogwood and locust to use.
Step 2: Pouring about 4 wheelbarrows of horse manure. Stepping it down into the cracks and crevices to remove air pockets and aid in decomposition.
Step 3: After the layer of horse manure, add more branches and twigs to build the mound.
After adding the branches, step on it to compact and break branches. Water well (soak):
Step 4: Layer with a bale of straw and water really well again.
Step 5: Cover the mound with compost. Add a nice, thick layer of soil so you can stick your hand into before reaching the hay layer. Plant seeds. I will be building a locust limb “planting bed frame” around the mound to keep in the soil, the chickens have a habit of playing in the dirt!!
We’ll make one more mound in the garden, I really like this technique! I was so pleased to use up materials around the farm, it is very rewarding.