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Newbie Hello & HugelKulture Idea.

 
Peter Michael Kagan
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Hi fellow Permies,
I'm only just embarking on this project, with so much to learn...
This community will doubtless offer invaluable resources for guidance and inspiration.
I'm excited about the potential my .25 acre parcel has, and have been prepping carefully. Swales, stakes, compost, some PVC, not much more at this time.

I'm very interested in the Hugelkulture premise...So far I've not seen any deliberate-looking installations of Hugelkultures, other than circular ones, (African Keyhole Video)

Attached two drawings I did of a possible Hugelkulture plan. Nothing I have seen or read keeps me from thinking this is technically unfeasible. I am looking for technical advise
The idea is to accumulate significant amount of cut wood, ideally cut to size, so that one could construct a large, partially above-ground plateau of wood of various heights, allowing for "shelves" at various heights. Set up in a repeating keyhole pattern, butted up against the hillside. With large tree cross sections creating the foundation, gaps would be filled with compost and dry matter, smaller size limbs, trunks, etc, with layers of that stuff on top as well as steer or horse manure for N, finally covered with soil. instead of a simple mound, The objective is to make a sculptural hugel, a Hugelskulpture if you will, a formation that has a deliberate aesthetic approach to burying wood to create a raised bed. This could all be set up on top of gopher wire, laid down below and and against the hillside with sides that rise up allowing for enclosure. I can imagine that this much wood as a base would also go a long way to protecting crops from burrowing animals attacking from below.

Please share insights.
hugel cross section.jpg
[Thumbnail for hugel cross section.jpg]
Hugel table.jpg
[Thumbnail for Hugel table.jpg]
 
Dale Hodgins
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I like the idea of shelved beds particularly for vining crops with heavy fruit. If you built a big zigurat with flowing vines, it might have a "Gardens of Babylon" look to it.

I'm putting some shelves on large conical piles up to 20 ft. tall. An excavator does my heavy lifting.

Using a framework and wire, it should be possible if not practical to make topiary sculpture of any shape. How about the Jolly Green Giant. Grow salad greens, moss for hair and one banana squash. Guess where (:
 
Peter Michael Kagan
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Thanks Dale for the banana squash image.
All kidding aside, the "Gardens of Babylon" is a good example. With decaying wood at it's core there is no expectation that the form would last forever, as one would hope for a ziggurat. Topiary way too cute, I'm looking for structure with function and a graceful gesture against the hillside...
Having delved deeply into the knowledge base here, do you see any technical, scientific reason that the idea would not work as a hugel should?

 
Dale Hodgins
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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 Peter, welcome to permies! One of the things that is great about this place is seeing all of the innovative ideas. Yours looks great . I think you should move forward and keep us posted with your observations.

Tell me more about the why of the wire. What will it add? What is it's function?
 
Peter Michael Kagan
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Howdy Peter, welcome to permies! One of the things that is great about this place is seeing all of the innovative ideas. Yours looks great . I think you should move forward and keep us posted with your observations.

Tell me more about the why of the wire. What will it add? What is it's function?


I am working with a hillside location in So Cal that is infested with gophers and ground squirrels. We must plant in wire baskets to protect young trees and plants that need a buffer against the hungry subterranean species.
The wire will prevent the Hugel from becoming a huge nest. Seen this happen before inside a mini hugel.
 
Corina Graves
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As an artist as well as a permie I really love the idea of natural steps! Lots in lots of room to stack purposes and beauty... so on a small scale Im going to steal your idea!
Im wondering however if there will be a problem with staking too high in this manner, might be unstable?
Thanks for the ideas!
 
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