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Colder Climate

 
Rick Sargent
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Hi,

I am new here so please forgive me.

I am impressed with hugelkultur and was wondering if it would work in a high mountain locations? I have a two acre property I just bought and would like to do some of this. I belive it is about a zone 3-4. Any ideas? I would be greatful for any assistance.

Ronin
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Hello Rick, and welcome to permies.

Hugel works well in both warm and cold regions.
The biggest difference I see is that in arid regions, they should be deeper - to collect/store the scarce water, while in heavy rain regions, they are better in high mounds above the ground, keeping your roots from getting drowned in standing water.

Read any of the many threads here on huglekulture, and you will pick up valuable advice on customizing your beds to your particular climate. The concept basically mimics Mother Nature in a forest setting - plants growing out of the fallen trees and vegetation. The closer we can get to Mother Nature, the greater our success, with a minimum of labor. It will cost you time/labor to get set up, but from there on, your biggest labor will be harvesting the fruits of your labor.

 
Miles Flansburg
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
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Howdy Rick, welcome to permies. John spoke well on the subject.
 
John Polk
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...high mountains...Zone 3-4...


Sounds like the Rockies to me.

Check out the "Rockies" forum here: http://www.permies.com/forums/f-30/rockies

Perhaps some more region specific information for you.

 
Victor Johanson
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Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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They do great here in Fairbanks, Alaska; I'm building a bunch more based on the stunning productivity of the first one.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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sepp holtzer uses them in the mountains of austria..google him for more info
 
Heidi Hoff
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Like Brenda said, not only does Herr Holzer use them, we here at permies use the term because of him!

In the translation of his book, sepp holzer's Permaculture, the Englsh term used for hugelkultur (literally, "mound planting"; contrary to what some folks think, "hugel" does not mean log) is simply "raised bed". But these are not the neat, boxed-in beds of Square Foot Gardening, nor the tidy mounds of the French potager. No, at the Kramaterhof, his farm in the Austrian alps, he did wholesale earthworks, making 2-meter-high, steep mounds by burying the logs that were everywhere on his land. He says that he would not use wood if he had to go somewhere else and haul it in. Too much work. He used the logs he had and they worked a treat for him, so he continued. He also says that making the mounds too small or flat gives disappointing results. Up in the mountains, he wants to trap lots of snow-melt and create effective windbreaks and microclimates. His books are very personal but filled with gems and rebellious wisdom. Highly entertaining and educational!

I am on a very cold rocky site (eastern Quebec) and hugelkultur is going to be the basis for almost everything I put in the ground from now on. I have no doubt it is the best approach to these conditions. Check out Kota Dubois's posting for what hugelkultur can do on solid rock in cold climates.
 
Heidi Hoff
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By the way, sepp holzer's surname means essentially "woodcutter", if I'm not mistaken, so it is very fitting that he spend a few years chopping down the "pine desert" on his land!
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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also for more zone 4 info you can check out my blog..I'm in zone 4 of Michigan ..have a few protected areas where zone 5 plants will grow ok..see link below
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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